The Italian brand of Moroso this year debuted a significant number of new designs at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, all housed in a stand designed by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.
“The space features a woodland of thousands of white columns made of high density polystyrene foam with curved shapes cut into two sides,” says Urquiola of the nature inspired, and playfully adapted design. “The columns emerge from the floor. They hang from the ceiling and are arranged in curving lines [to] contrast with the aged-wood floor.”
But it was a fantastical world that Urquiola had created, separating the rest of the Milan Furniture Fair’s offerings from the world of Moroso. Oftentimes deemed eccentric, the Moroso label has introduced various designers who boldly play with color and form. They also create small examples of art that one can actually live with in their home.
Urquiola and company head Patricia Moroso work in tandem as artist and patron. The relationship between the two women has set down ideal conditions for the two women to lead Moroso forward with genuinely innovative designs.
“To work with another woman as a woman you have more complicity, more things to share. [You] have a more confidential relationship and you go deep[er]. She’s given me more projects [from] her soul. She gives me the things with more freedom,” says Patricia Moroso on Urquiola.
Urquiola stresses the emotive functions versus the ergonomic functions when designing. “It’s a search for mental and physical function. What can I give you for your emotions and personal life? This is what I do.” This year, she has presented several beautiful chairs and couches for Moroso and has worked on the interiors of a concept car for BMW.
Her Klara chair is a wooden armchair, working on a simple linear aesthetic that harmoniously blends curves with the necessity of a solid chair. Simple in its upholstery, the chair’s surprise is from the very comfort one feels when seated, one’s back is supported comfortably. And the color combinations which the chair is available in run from beiges and grays to striking greens.
The use of wooden cane for the seat evokes vintage pieces of furniture, and a call back to fine craftsmanship. For that, Moroso had the chair produced in Manzano, a district which has mastered the hand-crafted technique of chair making.
Also, her Silver Lake range plays with facets, invoking another architectural memory that Urquiola ascribes to Californian modernism of the 1950s. The range is composed of sofas, and two armchairs and the appeal lies in visual and structural play of many sided polyhedral forms.
Moroso has found strong popularity in Egypt, where life is often chaotic and practicality and a sense of ease are elements in life often hard to come by. “We changed the image of Moroso in Egypt, people thought Moroso was eccentric, ultra modern and does not fit in any house. We changed this image by the products we chose and the products we bought,” says Shaden Abdel Hak, president of Art of Form who exclusively carries the brand. Pieces by Moroso have been selling well, seemingly for the visual pleasure of the pieces and the practical satisfaction one receives.
“I’m open to a multi task life,” says Urquiola, “I think sensibility of a woman is a stupid thing in the world, sustainable, adaptable, you don’t get anything. My work represents our way of working with the world. It’s not just sensible, it’s practical, it’s logical, we have to defend the real side.”
The mother of two celebrity-designers has been making a big name for herself, not just designing for Moroso but for other Italian brands such as B&B, causing die hard Urquiola fans to seek her designs wherever she may go. It’s something that Abdel Hak is aware of: “I will be introducing new brands based on Patricia Urquoila who has done a great job designing for these other brands. I am very impressed by her as a designer, and by her character; she’s very much down to earth.”
Moroso also offered other great designs. Paper Planes by Doshi Levien; the Ali Baba table by Marcello Jioro which when opened, reveals a striking bright pattern on the table top, and the Nebula Five bed by Successful Living from Diesel, another collaborative effort between Moroso and the rock chic Italian brand.
To live a Moroso life is to live life with practical color.
Urquiola’s Klara Chair.