By Laura | 29th June 2018

Inspired by: Marcel Wanders

Some designers seem hell-bent on creating pieces that are primarily functional rather than stylish, but nobody could accuse Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders, of that! 

When the New York Times described him as the Lady Gaga of designers, they weren’t kidding – his work is outlandish and spectacular, but with a touching humanism to it, so let’s see what we can learn from him.

The Wanders design philosophy

In an interview for The Guardian back in 2005, Wanders said this of functionality:  

'Functionality is extremely limited,' he says. 'It's empty. It's what we don't care about. How often does anyone use a bedroom chair? Very few things need to be functional. OK, you need shoes to walk outside, but what gives an object its functionality is the love you have for it.'  

It’s this love of design for the sheer joy of it - and his willingness to upset the status quo - that makes Marcel Wanders stand out from the crowd… and ruffle more than a few feathers along the way!  

You can see his work at its most famous and spectacular in the Mondrian Hotel in Doha, Qatar – a lavish, fantasy-inspired interior that's, frankly, almost as impossible to describe in words as it is to believe with your own eyes! Every lobby, restaurant and room has its own style, and each one seeks to outdo the previous one with its fantastical nature.


Learning from Marcel Wanders

If you’ve taken a few moments to Google the Mondrian Hotel, you’re probably wondering how you can add that kind of design philosophy to your interior design project without the neighbours avoiding you!


Don’t worry, it’s perfectly possible to enjoy the ‘Wanders approach’ without throwing all of your functional furniture out:


  • Try adding some huge colourful canvases to your walls – the crazier the better!
  • If your ceiling is strong enough, adding a couple of hanging chairs adds some fun to your space.
  • Consider buying your major pieces of furniture in one primary colour to stand out and make a statement
  • If you’re really brave, go hunting for some huge crazy sculptures to add some Wanders-style shock factor!
  • If you have the budget, why not add some Marcel Wanders originals, like his One Minute Lamps or Egg Vases?  

We love Marcel Wanders and the irreverence he brings to his design, and hope that this short introduction to his work will make you love him too!  

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