In 1960 the scientist, inventor and musician Manfred Clynes coined the term cyborg, which then grew ever more popular thanks to innumerable sci-fi novels and films; it designates an organism that combines natural and artificial elements. Designer Marcel Wanders interprets this fusion as the expression of a continuous search for new combinations, in today’s world, where it seems there is nothing truly new left to invent. This is the background to the creation of Cyborg, a seat with a highly resistant and versatile polycarbonate shell. The seat can then be completed with backrests in a selection of different natural or synthetic materials: from polycarbonate to wicker, from solid wood to plywood, to the most recent upholstered versions with fabric or leather cover. This further evolution of the chair is in equal parts poetic and technological, cosy and surprising, in keeping with the widest range of different settings.
Marcel Wanders (Boxtel, 1963) graduated with honours from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (ArtEZ Institute of the Arts) in Arnhem in 1988. In 1995 he opened his studio in Amsterdam, quickly coming to worldwide attention in 1996 for his iconic Knotted Chair, which paired high-tech materials with ‘low-tech’ production methods.
Today Marcel is a prolific product and interior designer and art director, with over 1700 projects to his name for private clients and premium brands such as Magis, Alessi, Bisazza, KLM, Flos, Swarovski, Puma, and scores of others.
Regarded by many as an anomaly in the design world, Marcel has made it his mission to “create an environment of love, live with passion and make our most exciting dreams come true”. His work excites, provokes, and polarises, but never fails to surprise due to its ingenuity, daring and singular quest to uplift the human spirit, and entertain.
In his designs, Marcel often mixes innovative materials and techniques with references to well known historical styles and archetypes, so users can easily connect to the pieces, enjoying them for a long time and in doing so create sustainable surroundings.
Marcel’s chief concern is to bring the human touch back to design, ushering in what he calls design’s ‘new age;’ in which designer, craftsperson and user are reunited. In his process, Marcel defies design dogma, preferring instead of focus on holistic rather than technocratic solutions. In Marcel’s universe, the coldness of industrialism is replaced by the poetry, fantasy and romance of different ages, vividly brought to life in the contemporary moment.
In 2001 Marcel co-founded the successful design label Moooi, of which he is also Art Director. Interior projects have become increasingly important in Marcel’s work, embraced because they enable him to envelop people in multi-layered, sensory experiences.
Many of Marcel’s designs have been selected for the most important design collections and exhibitions in the world, including the Museums of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.