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marcel wanders interview
original content
dec 16, 2004
marcel wanders interview


marcel wanders
image © designboom

 

 

the interview with marcel wanders took place on december 16, 2004.

 

 

what is the best moment of the day?
let me think…
waking up.

 

 

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
bach. classical.

 

 

‘oblique©’, for moooi, 2003

 

 

what books do you have on your bedside table?
I don’t have a bedside table.
at the moment I am reading ken wilber – it is not fiction,
it is personal development.
well, it is personal development for me.

 

 

do you read design magazines?
no. well we have them in the studio, people send them.
I sometimes look at them if we have them.
look at them, don’t read them.
I appreciate what these magazines are doing,
but I am not their audience.

 

 

B.L.O., 2001
lamp which can be switched on and off by blowing.
produced and distributed by flos, italy

 

 

where do you get news from?
yeah.. good question. I have no tv,
I don’t read newspapers, no radios…
I guess on the street, on the way to the studio…
through…
there is news in the air.
but no, I have no regular source.

 

 

I assume you notice how women dress.
do you have any preferences?
that they wear as little as possible.

 

 

 ‘pipe©’, faucet, 2001
for boffi, italy

 

 

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
bermudas – I don’t wear short shorts.
I do wear white socks you see.

 

 

do you have any pets?
my apple macintosh – my ibook.

 

 

‘knock down five star bird restaurant’
 (designed in a droog design project), 2000
- a plate with a roof for birds to quietly enjoy their food -

 

 

where do you work on your designs and projects?
at my home.

 

 

do you discuss or exchange ideas with other designers?
normally we talk little about design.
yesterday, at my home, with jurgen bey, there was a great discussion…
so yes, it does happen, though it is not everyday.

 

 

V.I.P. chair, for moooi, 2000

 

 

when you were a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
mmm…
when I was about 12 I wanted to be a landscape architect.

 

 

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
I design from a mentality.
I don’t have wanky design friends who would say this…
but lets just say that a friend of mine would. yes. ok.

 

 

left: lighting collection ‘shadows©’, 1998
(extra big shadow h: 202 cm, big shadow and little big shadow)
produced and distributed by cappellini.

right: carpet-sofa ‘nomad©’ , 1998
produced and distributed by cappellini.

 

 

is there any designer and/or architect from the past,
you appreciate a lot?
whoa.. there is a huge long list.
a very long list.
(stand outs?)
michelangelo.
jesus christ…
and some other guys.
should I say god?
he made the world, he is the big designer.
evolution.
evolution is quite good.
it makes a lot of mistakes, but yeah.. it keeps going.

 

 

and of those ‘designers’ still working?
philippe. philippe starck.
he is number one.

 

 

‘egg©’ vase (designed in a droog design project), 1997
for moooi.

 

 

what project has given you the most satisfaction?
one of them is my bisazza car…
because you know the first time I got in it
I was silent for half an hour, for the first time in my life.

 

 

what is your approach to the question of ecology and
sustainable design?
I have found lots of ways to deal with it, but I’m not the kind
of guy to work on lil’ inventions to save the world.
I work with durability in design.
products worth bonding with for a lifetime.
it is important to make ‘aged’ products, objects that feature
conventional elements with modern, lasting materials…
which will last time as well as concept.
in the face of a throwaway culture that consumes meaningless
products, I want my creations to have more quality
… and more qualities.
I’m a sort of amateur, amateurs aren’t so sure about things so
they investigate and sometimes find an interesting solution,
bringing new ideas to it that experts might overlook.
I have an overall respect for ourselves and the world
- and I think this is the basis of ‘good design’.

 

 

‘knotted chair©’, 1996 (designed in a droog design project)
produced and distributed by cappellini.

 

 

it appears to us that your designs consider those who are
actually producing the work to put something of themselves
into the work so they are less alienated…
do you think about the people who actually produce,
who work on your project?
I’m ONE of the guys who produce,
I am really connected to them.
yes, I want to make work come alive by participation.
there is a sense of love in a product -
a kind of energy… (I think I’m responsible for creating an energy).
I try with my designs to make a connection to real life and
to contribute to the lives of people.
‘real’ products should not be done by half measures.

 

 

on your website you’ve posted your motto….
‘here to create an environment of love
life with passion and make our most exciting
dreams come true’.

 

 

moooi?
the name ‘moooi’ stems from an adaptation of the dutch word
for beauty. with an extra ‘o’ for extra beautiful.
I started the firm as a place for to experiment the constraints
imposed upon designers by the logistics of the manufacturing industry.
but it is a business company too.
moooi aims at exploring precisely the zone between individuality
and mass production.
my position is ‘art director’ which allows me the freedom of
curating and collaborating with other designers.
among the latter are a number of big names such as jurgen bey,
joep van lieshout, ross lovegrove, jasper morrison, li edelkoort
as well as some younger talent, bertjan pot…

 

 

‘set up shades©’, droog design, 1988

 

 

moooi and li edelkoort?
li designed a paint for moooi that she changes annually in
accordance with her ideas about the specific feelings
and tendencies our time has to offer
(it was yellow for 2002, orange for 2003 and gold for 2004.)
it can be used to paint old furniture in order to ensure that
your favourite pieces never go out of style.

 

 

any advice for young designers?
it is important to be able to speak,
but even more important to be able to listen.
they should practice…
because principally designers know shit.
they are generalists and have no idea of what they are doing.
I think so many young designers who see their work as ‘artistic’,
and see their studio as ‘free spirit places’ won’t grow,
they won’t reach a lot of people because it’s an ‘academic thing’
where it’s more done for the designers than the people.

 

 

is there anything that you are afraid of regarding the future ?
I think I might go crazy.

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