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Creative Wander-ings

Marcel Wanders speaks about Moooi’s role in contributing to a new world culture through design. Interview by Rachel Lee-Leong.

Creative Wander-ings


February 7th, 2012

His name couldn’t be more apt. Marcel Wanders is creative explorer in every sense of the word, taking gambles where others choose more familiar paths. In a paradoxical twist, people expect to be surprised with the work that comes out from his studio Marcel Wanders Studio and Moooi, the brand he set up with Casper Vissers. However, in our interview with Wanders, he reveals that it’s not so much about design entertainment as it is about having a new point of view about the new world we live in today.

Marcel Wanders

Brave New World Lamp and AVL Chair

How would you describe your approach to design down through the years?

Marcel Wanders (MW): My mum, she moved houses five years ago and [during the move] I found all kinds of little notes from when I was studying. And although a lot has changed, I was surprised by how much I already knew as a baby designer then. Jubilee was very much a key element for my design. Of course, I found different ways to work on it. The Knotted Chair, the Lace Table, all these things were so important in defining my position as a designer. It was way more romantic, way more communicative.

Marcel Wanders

Heracleum Lamp

Marcel Wanders

Egg Vase

What made you set up Moooi?

MW: I made the Sponge and Egg Vase, Big Shadow Lamp, all really important pieces by then and still the only one who was willing to produce what I was doing was Cappellini. You give the audience an image and they can put the image in their heart, in their head and it works for them as a cultural thing. But also, I wanted to make objects that reach the market as an object, not just as a story or a photograph.

Marcel Wanders

Gothic Chair

Is working with young, yet-famous designers part of Moooi’s DNA?

MW: We always look for young designers. We were the first to publish Bertjan Pot, we were the first to edit the works of [Studio] Job, we were the first to edit the work of Jurgen Bey, we were the first to make the products of Front, we were the first to make the works of Marten Baas, we were the first to make the works of Nika Zupanc. Maybe it’s one of the goals we set in Moooi – we want to make things which are important to the culture of design, and to make them in a good way, to communicate about them in a good way and to make sure they reach the people.

Marcel Wanders

Miyake Lamp

Moooi seems to be very particular about the kind of designers it works with. What do you look out for?

MW: I think a lot of young designers at this moment are making works that should have been done 20, 30 years ago. I think we are a progressive company and I don’t want to make old work. I don’t want to make work based on a hundred years tradition. I want to make work that is important today. So many things have changed in our culture and I don’t see them addressed in the works of people. I always tell people, “Be honest to yourself. Dare to be alone.”

Marcel Wanders

Fata Morgana TJ Two

Read the full story in Cubes magazine issue #54 out now at Singapore newsstands.

Moooi is available in Singapore at Space Furniture.

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