Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker

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By Luke Hopping / Published by Dwell
We’re thrilled to announce Dwell on Design’s 2015 keynote speaker: product and interior designer Marcel Wanders of the eccentric Dutch firm Moooi.

First as a member of famously irreverent design collective Droog, and later through his own studio, Marcel Wanders has earned international acclaim for his eclectic designs, which marry industrial processes with meticulous handcrafting. He has created designs for Flos, Magis, B&B Italia, Alessi, and, more recently, hotels, private residences, and retail spaces from Bahrain to Miami. Now in his career's third decade, Wanders will appear as keynote speaker at Dwell on Design 2015 to discuss with Dwell founder Lara Deam his unique definition of functionalism and lifelong desire "to make real things, not just conceptual objects."

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 1 of 10 -

Dutch designer Marcel Wanders's prolific career spans more than three decades.

Wanders won the world’s attention in 1996 with his Knotted chair for Droog, the group he calls "the Memphis of the 1990s." The lightweight seat, which appears flimsy but is in fact rigid thanks to special thread made of aramid and carbon fibers, captures the joy Wanders takes in playing with expectations. Other examples of his distinctive approach include the Egg vase for Moooi, a blooming vessel for flowers, and the cocoon-like Zeppelin chandelier for Flos. 

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 2 of 10 - Wanders's Knotted Chair for Droog garnered him international acclaim in 1996.

Wanders's Knotted Chair for Droog garnered him international acclaim in 1996.

In 2001, Wanders co-founded the furniture brand Moooi (the Dutch word for "beautiful," but "with an extra O for extra beautiful"). As co-founder, art director, and designer, he’s retained the firm’s original focus on furnishings, while expanding his own studio's horizons to include interior design. In 2008, he designed the Mondrian Hotel South Beach’s dreamscape interiors and the Villa Moda’s richly textural flagship store in Bahrain. Presently, he’s bringing his modern touch to the new Quasar luxury residences in Istanbul. 

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 3 of 10 -

The Big Shadow lamp, which Wanders designed for Cappellini in 1998.

Wanders ambitions only continue to grow.  Last year, a major retrospective of his work was held at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. Meanwhile, Moooi is set to open a Manhattan showroom during New York Design Week in May. 

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 4 of 10 - Wanders's Egg vase for Moooi is a blooming vessel for flowers.

Wanders's Egg vase for Moooi is a blooming vessel for flowers.

"Where I used to think in terms of chairs and vases, now it’s big concepts like quality of life," he explains. "If I have any basic motivation, it’s to inspire people to make their life a masterpiece."

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 5 of 10 - The playfully minimalist Zeppelin lamp for Flos.

The playfully minimalist Zeppelin lamp for Flos.

See Marcel Wanders in conversation with Dwell founder Lara Deam on Friday, May 29, at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles.

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 6 of 10 - A gold-plated One Minute sculpture from the Personal Editions collection by Marcel Wanders under an antique glass dome.

A gold-plated One Minute sculpture from the Personal Editions collection by Marcel Wanders under an antique glass dome.

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 7 of 10 - Wanders designed the Mondrian South Beach's vivid interiors in 2008.

Wanders designed the Mondrian South Beach's vivid interiors in 2008.

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 8 of 10 - A Bottoni sofa for Moooi anchors this living room.

A Bottoni sofa for Moooi anchors this living room.

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 9 of 10 - Wanders's Big Shadow lamp for Cappellini is a spectral presence against white-washed walls.

Wanders's Big Shadow lamp for Cappellini is a spectral presence against white-washed walls.

Meet Marcel Wanders, 2015 Dwell on Design Keynote Speaker - Photo 10 of 10 -

Wanders's latest lamp for Moooi, the refined Space-Frame.