Marcel Wanders by Octavia Mettenheimer

Marcel Wanders is a Dutch designer born on the 2nd of July in 1963 in Boxtel.

At the age of 16 he was already aware of his interest and talent in creative work and decided to enter  a Design School when he reached the age of 18. 1988 he graduated from the School of Art Arnhem cum laude. He started his career as an independent designer, after two years though he went to Landmark Design & Consult b.v. Rotterdam and after that worked for several companies in the Netherlands.

The project he finally became famous with was the knotted chair, he was then part of the Design studio “Droog” and the result of a Dry Tech I project in 1996.

knotted Chair by Marcel Wanders 1996

It was and still is one of the lightest chairs ever designed. It is constructed of aramid and carbon fibers, which are knotted into the shape of a chair and then impregnated with epoxy resin and hung in a frame to dry.

Ever since Marcel Wanders reached more and more international fame and is just today in his most productive phase. He is not just a fantastic designer but also a very good communicator and businessmen. Soon after his first success he discovered that his way of working and thinking could cover a market niche. No one else believed in such a  lively, exuberant design and certainly no one had the idea of using technology to its absolute limits. Effectively he founded his own company “Marcel Wanders” which quickly became successful. In 2000 he co-founded the Design Company MOOOI of which he also became the Art-Director. A more recent concept of him is putting his logo-which is his face in a stylized form, sometimes even in red- on products or to integrate it, like in the baccarat collection he did in 2009.

Logo of Marcel Wanders
Logo of Marcel Wanders

Marcel is in a constant search for new tasks and adventures. After having done basically every possible product he started designing some lines for companies doing mass production, something which is completely different from his low-production, high-quality and very expensive objects before. His first project in this direction was the Puma Outdoor collection in 2007.

(It is definitely worthwhile it to view all his projects. Visit his webpage and have a look at the endless list.)

Outdoor collection for Puma by Marcel Wanders 2007

The man usually wearing a white shirt, a dark trouser, sneakers and a pearl necklace has grey hair, maybe from the hundreds different projects he has done since his breakthrough. Still he never changed his concept, his idea behind his imaginative and creative activity which is to make our existing world a better world through fulfilling dreams and bring more joy to our daly lives.

In the center of Amsterdam you can find this man’s studio. The studio itself makes it easy and clear to understand Marcel’s ideas and intentions and his world, that magical place where such  romantic, decorative and often very feminine designs are created. This is the place where his flamboyant, extravagant, lyrical, ornamented designs come to life.

Studio of Marcel Wanders in Amsterdam during the work for Target

He usually uses very basic shades like white and black. But then again if he should use colors they are strong and very expressive. His favorite color is right in between red and orange, which is easy to recognize from his designs. Another significance for his style are patterns. Baroque like patterns, small curved lines sometimes with flowers are found in nearly every of his projects. They seem to be fence like, sometimes as if they were made out of iron but still light and fluent.

Crochet Chair by Marcel Wanders

When asked in an interview about his personal relation to Design, Marcel Wanders said that he wants it to be emotional. He wants objects to have an effect on people not just because they are functional or practical but because they make your normal day a better day and  make you feel better. Design should be like a gift  his design it might be something that you do not need but if you once you obtain one of his products you should never want to live without it again. To him design is a very personal process and he wants everyone to feel that and also to become personally attached to the object. To achieve  this he says one always has to create a vision and not just simply a new shape.

Snotty vase by Marcel Wanders

When asked how he feels working for big companies and not only out of his own creativity he answered that designing is like creating a baby. It needs a mother and a father to nurture it- he is the mother, the company represents the father and he wants both to be content so that the “baby ” can develop as wished.

Cristal Glas for baccarat by Marcel Wanders
Cristal Glas for Baccarat by Marcel Wanders 2009

In the past year and for the rest of 2010 a lot of very big projects of Marcel Wanders were and will be finished. He did interior designs, glass design, jewelry, chairs and much more. it will be very interesting to see the success and the outcome of these projects and should be followed by everyone with an interest in opulent design.

Tulip Chair for Cappellini by Marcel Wanders 2009
Sparkling Chair for Magis by Marcel Wanders
Sparkling Chair for Magis by Marcel Wanders
Casa son Vida Mallorca, private interior design fby Marcel Wanders
King Kamehmeha Hotel Bonn, Interior Design by Marcel Wanders

Short info: Till July 2010 is the Philadelphia Museum of Art doing an exhibition about him.


All pages accessed on the 5.5.2010


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