The Wonder of Wanders


Regarded by many as an anomaly in the design world, Marcel Wanders is one of the industry’s most forward-thinking designers. Abode2 caught up with him in the sunlit glow of his villa in Mallorca

Disrupting, engaging and unforgettable, best describes Marcel Wander’s approach to design. With over 1,900 iconic furniture, lighting, interior and artworks across a multitude of projects for premium global brands and private clients to his name, from the redesign of Schiphol airport’s VIP Centre in Amsterdam, to five-star hotels, Swarovski and Louis Vuitton shop fronts, and even air pollution masks. Wanders’ work excites, provokes and polarises, yet never fails to surprise for its ingenuity and daring quest to uplift the human spirit.

VIP Centre, an icon interior for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, 2020-2021

What inspires you to design ground-breaking products?

Since I was 28, my mission statement has been to create an environment of love, to live with passion and make my dreams come true. This applies to the designs I create, the path I take and the family I build. The really beautiful thing about design, is there are so many things around us that reflect different aspects of life. I have worked hard and still have a huge appetite for creation. I have always loved what I do and have signed off every design with pleasure. I’ve made some mistakes along the way, but if I look back, 99.9% of the things I have created still excite me.

What is the standout moment of your career so far?

There’s not one moment that defines my long career. If there was, I’d have been forgotten by now. The Knotted Chair was the first piece that earned me international acclaim. Before, I was taking on interesting projects in the Netherlands. I set up my first interior design company, had a daughter, got divorced, got injured and recuperated. I was uncertain and then I was not. There are endless moments that define who we are or who we become. We all fail and most of us do so more than once, but the most important moments are when we decide to get back up.

Showroom design for Devon & Devon, 2022 - Photo courtesy of Marcel Wanders

Define the essence of a Marcel Wanders design

Now that my daughter is old enough to question her passions,

we discuss this a lot together. In hindsight, I have come to realise that my passion is doing things that haven’t been done before. What I’m most proud of are the projects that were not only built on new ideas, but are also well-executed, self-evident, demand presence and are legitimate. They’re not apologetic. If people decide to like them, it’s a bonus.

What’s your favourite material to work with?

Grey mass. If you’re unable to change the grey mass in your brain, nothing has happened. Ultimately, that’s where activity is meaningful. If you can change behaviour or the way people think, give them a new sense of values or connections, make them love something more deeply or longer than before you have succeeded. Design is my form of communication with the world and I have always wanted to create a psychological reaction. Design is a force that creates long-term value in the relationship between people and their artificial surroundings.

Oh! an iconic interior by Wanders & YOO, 2016 - Photo courtesy of Marcel Wander

How do you like to spend your downtime?

I love Milan – it’s the city where the most important designers of the world have stood and it’s where I call home now. I remember my first evening at a 24-hour poetry festival where people were invited to recite a poem they love. It was an amazing cultural welcome. I also love Mallorca, as it has an international all-year-round residency, which I find

so interesting and stimulating. I love being surrounded by natural beauty, mountain landscape and sea views.

Can you reveal any exciting plans for this year?

We have something exciting in the pipeline for London and a few projects in Mallorca. I’m currently finishing my new apartment in Milan as well as clients’ projects including something for Louis Vuitton. I’m also working on a range of NFTs with creators around the world, launching on the Moooi platform, so there’s plenty of cool stuff keeping me busy right now.

Abode Affiliates

  • Alleyne Real Estate
  • Blevins Franks
  • Coldwell Banker
  • Crane Resorts
  • Monaco Real Estates
  • RDO
  • St Francis Links
  • Unique Home Stays
  • Yoo
  • Worldwide Dream Villas
  • Enigma Yachts Limited
  • Cornerstone Tax Advisors
  • Pedini London
  • Alexander James
  • Moore Stephen
  • Ibiza Transit Express
  • Oyster Yachts
  • Jumeirah
  • Wall Street Luxury
  • Heron Real Estate
  • Edenhurst
  • MG&AG
  • Gama Property
  • Touch Design Group
  • St Edward
  • Ultra Villa
  • Luxury Italian Living
  • Habitat First Group
  • BDO
  • 7Storeys
  • Worldwide Property
  • Dimora
  • Dominic McKenzie Architects
  • Harry Manning
  • Smart Living
  • Isle Blue
  • MAS Marbella
  • Millgate
  • Jersey Finance
  • guernsey-relocations-logo
  • viberts-logo
  • kpmg-logo
  • author-interiors
  • Wilkinson Beven
  • BoConcept
  • Ante Vrban
  • Deborah Garth
  • You home
  • Ra Shaw Designs
  • Caudwell Collection
  • accanto-interiors
  • Fritz Hansen
  • capital-rise
  • jarrods-staircase
  • neil-davies-logo
  • Tina Shone Group
  • Taplow riverside
  • Aimo
  • ns-ceramics-logo
  • Rusk
  • Consilium Expert Group
  • Ben Krupinski Builder
  • Swoffers
  • Guernsey Relocation Services
  • Douglas Graneto
  • Strutt & Parker
  • wilsons
  • MJC Associates
  • plainspace
  • Fine & Country
  • Bramble Ski
  • Penthouse queen
  • Sarco_Affiliate_Logo
  • taylor wimpey
  • cooper-gardner
  • M Design Architects
  • codan
  • Lovells
  • London DE
  • Prime Lands Group
  • Bellegarde Estates
  • Sinclair
  • Pippa Paton
  • Ecole d'Humanite
  • Benedek Lewin
  • Inspired Villages
  • Huelin Homes
  • Gaudin
  • Lovells Property
  • Racecourse Lodge Logo
  • Paseo
  • Lemay + Escobar
  • Octagon
  • Locate Isle of Man
  • Newlands of Stow
  • Hawksford
  • Holdun
  • Schule Schloss Salem
  • AR Architecture
  • lazaro
  • Sella Concept
  • Blakstad
  • miller interior
  • Wealth Club
  • Yellow House Architects
  • Designer Touches
  • Zafiro
  • Nicole Murray
  • Scout Boats
  • Emerson Insinkerator
  • Forsters
  • https://www.cullenhomes.co.uk
  • https://www.londonlight.works

Enter your dream destination