Gain Insight! Marcel Wanders on Cyborgs!
Amsterdam, November 2014.
What do you think of the relationship between design and material?
MW – Ultimately it is the poetry in design that comes forth and not the technical or material aspects. I often say that if you listen to your material with respect, patience and a little imagination, it will reveal its hidden wisdom. Every material potentially knows how to be an ultimate gift to the world! I am interested in evergreen designs, in the combination of traditional crafts and high-tech industrial processes, in fantasy and creativity for the benefit of humanity and durability. I want to make things that evoke new human connections and impact our lives in interesting and meaningful ways, and which people cherish and want to keep forever.
What was your source of inspiration when you designed the “Cyborg Wicker”?
MW - Everything has been done. It's not possible to create something completely new, something that has never been seen before. It's only possible to make new combinations, establish new connections between things we usually take for granted. This way we can twist the world and its entangled constructions to surprise each other, and experience the unexpected. I want to create things that are connected to our society, to each of us. I listen to users carefully and design with an awareness of the world around me. My work is based on a respect for our cultural history and at the same time is reflective towards changes. That is exactly why people perceive the things that I create as being close to them and special.
Wicker and polycarbonate is a new combination, but what have you thought about wicker before this project? In which ways did it impact this project?
MW – Well, the concept behind the Cyborg Chair collection for Magis is to join a polycarbonate basis – in white, black or red – together with interchangeable upper back parts. So basically, the stools in this family are made of different materials, all artisan inspired. The focus was to contrast hand made techniques with sturdy plastic legs of industrial origin. This is why the back of the chair took on different materials, such as wicker, plywood, solid wood, or fine fabrics or leather upholstery. It brings a new approach to the idea of artisanal work.
Where does the name for the collection 'Cyborg' comes from?
MW – By joining two disparate materials and two opposite production techniques, I wanted to underline the idea of artificiality. Therefore the name 'Cyborg'; an utopian improved version of reality. In addition, this idea of embracing two opposites and showing how they can connect to each other to create a unique and surprising whole is a recurrent theme in my work.
Available through Magis.