Marcel Wanders’ wonders – The contemporary renaissance of humanism

The New York Times dubbed him the Lady Gaga of design: ironic, astonishing, human, Marcel Wanders is the father of contemporary rococo

With a mission to create an environment of love and to bring back humanity in the world of design, Marcel Wanders focuses on the holistic, romantic and surreal, rather than the methodical, thinking that the most beautiful side of mankind is not the brain, but the feelings that make us irrational, and that design should account for this playful deviance.

It’s a timeless debate, that sees art opposed to design: the former to provoke, the latter to function, with artists working primarily off instinct and designers employing a methodical process.

Since Dieter Rams and its commandments of good design, only a few voices have risen to justify exceptions, it took Marcel Wanders to turn artistic feelings into a new design philosophy. 

Marcel Wanders focuses on the holistic, romantic and surreal approach to design as he thinks design should represent the feelings that mankind irrational

Moooi and more

In 2001 Marcel Wanders co-founds a design company whose motto is ‘The Unexpected Welcome’ and whose name comes from the Dutch word for “beautiful”: it is Wander’s quintessence.

Moooi is a platform for designers from all over the globe to create timeless objects of extraordinary beauty; however, it is for his collaborations with brands such as Bisazza, Poliform, and Louis Vuitton that the designer gains notoriety.

In 1996 Wanders had designed the Knotted Chair, a visionary piece produced by Cappellini and now part of the permanent collection of the MoMA, among the others, which soon became an icon, and probably his most known piece.

Marcel Wanders - Knotted chair
Eliminating the distinction between craft and industry, Marcel Wanders’ Knotted Chair unites conflicting aspects, methods and materials in order to surprise and innovate

Egg Vases

One year later, in 1997, Wanders had the idea to boil some eggs, insert them in a condom for protection and see what the shape would have looked like: the result is a beautiful series of porcelain vases molded in the curvy shape of a pile of eggs.

Egg vases
Marcel Wanders had the bizarre idea of designing a porcelain accessory in the soft, curvy shape of a pile of eggs by inserting boiled eggs into a condom

Airborne Snotty Vases

Ever imagined a sneeze could be so elegant: the Airborne Snotty Vases series take inspiration from the human reflex, whose liquid particles have been scanned and snapshotted to take the form of five vases where the line between design and sculpture blurs.

The collection was immediately purchased by the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, sealing the Airborne Snotty Vases as actual art pieces.

Alessi Circus

In 2016 Wanders teamed with Alessi for a collection of everyday tableware and accessories inspired to the circus, which, according to the designer, is something bigger than life, a magical, mystical, sensorial experience that stays forever in one’s memory.

Marcel Wanders - Alessi Circus
Marcel Wanders collaborated with Alessi to create the Circus collection featuring bold, geometric patterns and colors combining the functionality of kitchenware with the pageantry of the circus

A collection of objects that creates astonishment and delight, interpreting an original and colored design language.

Wanders’ Mondrian-s

Since 2008, the Mondrian South Beach Hotel welcomes his guests into a modern fairy-tale, a magical world of style and enchantment.

Mondrian South Beach Interior design gold

Eclectic and theatrical, the structure is conceived as the Sleeping Beauty castle, representing Marcel Wander’s first hospitality project, doubled in 2017 by the Mondrian Doha Hotel where another fairy-tale unfolded around every corner, room, and in the biggest SPA on earth.


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