Designer Spotlight: Marcel Wanders
Marcel Wanders is a world-renowned Dutch product designer, interior designer, and art director who first gained widespread recognition in 1996 for the iconic Knotted Chair. That piece was a fusion of high-tech materials mixed with “low end” methods—the perfect statement piece that showcased his unconventional design sensibility that is holistic, quirky, and wholly original.
Born in 1963 in Boxtel, Amsterdam, Wanders was first expelled from the Eindhoven Design Academy before he moved on to continue his studies at the Hogeschool Voor de Kunsten (ArtEZ Institute of the Arts). There, he finished his matriculation in 1988 with flying colors—having graduated with cum laude honors.
Seven years later, he opened his studio in Amsterdam, and it was there where he began his prolific career that has spanned numerous continents and well-known clients. Today, his design studio boasts of about 50 international design specialists, with more than 1,700 projects that include both private clients and premium brands across the globe that include Swarovski, Puma, MAC Cosmetics, Target, Alessi, Capellini, Bisazza, and Flos, among many others.
His design philosophy can be summed up in his personal mission to “create an environment of love, live with passion, and make our most exciting dreams come true.”
To achieve this, he makes it a point that his creations are inspired by well-known archetypes and touch upon historical references. He wants his viewers to easily identify and connect with his work, where he seeks to uplift the visual experience by mixing unusual materials and techniques so that the result is always exciting, at times polarizing, often provocative, but never boring or commonplace.
Among his peers in the design world, Marcel Wanders is often regarded as an anomaly—a true artist with a unique vision. He shuns dogmatic methodologies and cold, technocratic styles, preferring instead to infuse the human touch through sustainable design solutions that work in harmony with its surroundings, not against it.
Marcel Wanders works to “create durable designs, and his efforts toward sustainability have gone a step ahead of recycling, where he has said how “people want to make things recyclable; why not just make something to not throw away?”
He seeks to usher in the “new age” of design by providing a singular, unifying experience for the designer, craftsperson, and end-user. He wants to create a sense of wonder and excitement, and he does it by marrying modern world sensibilities with humanized concepts like romance, fantasy, and poetry from across the ages.
Commissioned to design KLM airline’s tableware, the sets effortless blend function and beauty.
The stick spoon stands out in particular: here is a textured piece of twisted metal that is reminiscent of a piece of airline propeller blade, and yet it is also a simple utensil that serves the important function of mixing sugar and milk into tea or coffee. That, in itself, is a beautiful thing to behold, but the experience doesn’t end there. When six of these spoons are formed in a circle, the blades meet to re-create the look of a classic airline propeller.
Various media publications have not been immune to Marcel Wanders’ unmistakable touch. New York Times once called him the “Lady Gaga of Design,” Business Week has chosen him among the elite roster of Europe’s 25 Leaders of Change, and in 2006, Elle Decoration named him as their “Designer of the Year.”
Other prestigious art institutions and art critics have bestowed upon him and his design team various awards, including the Modern Design Collaborative Award by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as the 2009 Design Excellence Award for his contributions in the field of design.
Recent interior projects include the Kameha Grand Zurich, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, and the Kameha Grand Bonn.
Marcel is also co-founder and Art Director at Moooi, an extremely successful design label that continues to make its presence felt around the world. He works with close to thirty designers throughout 79 countries globally. Moooi’s designs carry a distinctive, unique and quirky design philosophy summed-up in its corporate slogan: “The Unexpected Welcome”. Moooi brandstores can be found in Amsterdam, New York and London.
Marcel Wanders brings the same award-winning design sensibility that features elegant, sustainable solutions to prefab homes at Revolution.
His beautiful designs for Revolution are predicated on the holistic, sustainable, and highly original work Marcel Wanders has come to be known for.
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