Despite spending more than a decade at the forefront of the design industry, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders continues to be inspired by young talent. As the co-founder of Moooi, he believes that they hold the key to fresh, truly new ideas.

Image: Erwin Olaf

How do you pick which designers to work with? 

We work with a lot of wonderful designers who have very different ideas. And if we feel that we can help them with the distribution to the world, then that’s what we want to do. 

We work with people who have their own vocabulary. We look for pple who have their own personality and signature, and their own fundamental idea of purpose. We want to make a mark in design and do something interesting. And that comes in many different ways and forms because we work with very different people.

Coppelia suspended lamp by Arihiro Miyake

Have you ever thought that an idea was too crazy?

No. Sometimes things have to be crazy to make sense. Things are never too crazy. It can only be less of something, but then it’s not so interesting anymore. Look at that unicorn. It’s pretty crazy, but it’ not only crazy. It’s a dream. It’s someone's fantasy.

Arion by Marcel Wanders

What is it like working with younger designers?

Young designers have a different point of view. They have a different way of looking at design and the world, so you can learn from them. But not all young designers have that. There are also many who just follow the path of old masters. Which is great, but not surprising. But they still make wonderful pieces.

What do you think of the current wave of new designers?

I don’t think there’s a new generation, but I think design is finding new terrains. If you look at what dutch designers are doing, it's really interesting. They’re less interested in making products and more interested in experimenting and finding ideas without thinking of making products. Which sometimes I think is a pity, because I love products. I love to share. Products are a beautiful way to bring culture into people's lives, and I love that. 

Hungry carpet by Bas Kosters 

Tell me more about the new Moooi carpets?

We have created a high definition printing technique which allows us to print anything we want on it. Basically, we can ask any designer to send us something, and we can print it. We want to show that this wonderful new technology can do any graphic you want, at the highest quality possible because there is no quality like this in the carpet industry. The resolution you see here is unprecedented.

Garden of Eden carpet by Edward van Vliet

What's the main challenge of launching new collections?

It’s always difficult to make something new that also surprises people and make them happy.

So how do you overcome that?

We have ideas… we dream… we make impossible things happen. We just continue to go where other people stop. 

Moooi is available at Space, 77 Bencoolen Street, tel: 6415-0000.