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17 April 2012
The Marvellous Marcel
The amicable Marcel Wanders speaks to Luo Jingmei about Moooi’s direction and some of his new designs unveiled at Milan this year.
You and Casper Vissers have bought over majority shares in Moooi (previously 50% owned by B&B Italia). How does this affect the business and creative aspects of the brand?
It doesn’t make a difference… basically, it’s a business thing. But for sure this gives us a sense of power and ownership and from there you will feel more energy.
Marcel Wanders speaking to reporters in Milan
How have consumers received the boldness and sensuality of Moooi products in recent years?
Around the 90s, design changed from being technocratic to artistic, and therefore more personal, subjective and more human, in a way. I think that’s what we’re doing and there are all kinds of ways to do it. It’s a lot harder but we want to do it, push things. We feel it expresses who we are, how we feel the times are moving. Sometimes we make big steps; sometimes small steps; sometimes we do it with very surreal things; sometimes by infusing culture; sometimes we do it from very personal reasons.
'Delft Blue Jumper' sofa and 'Big Ben' clock
Tell me about the ‘Delft Blue Jumper’ sofa.
See, a lot of sofas made in European countries are made with wool. But from a visual point of view, it’s a little bit flat. I’m asking wool, ‘what would you like to look like’? So we took this idea that the wool wants to be more decorative and show curves… show details… and so we made a design that resonates the sensitivity of a beautifully knitted jumper. Then we fit it with porcelain-patterned cushions – a very heavy contrast to the softness of the wool…
'Delft Grey Jumper' sofa
If that is what wool wants to say, what does the ‘Big Ben’ clock want to say?
Now, if you want the time, you don’t check your clock, you check your iPhone. Clocks have become obsolete because we have time everywhere [in devices]. They don’t exist anymore except maybe ceremonially. I’m very interested to see how we can put this object, whose function has completely changed, in a different and new place, give it importance. And so it doesn’t tell you the time. It tells you there is time and maybe tomorrow, there isn’t anymore. So time has a relationship to our lives – not in terms of minutes, in terms of the idea of time. And to make it this size is very surreal, which is fun.
The 'New Antiques’ table - a new addition to the Container Table series