Deep Dive Into Design: Moroso

by Joseph Lim
24 Jul 2023

We peek into the minds of some of the world's renowned furniture designers, giving us an insight into how they think and work to create the products that were showcased at highly anticipated design fairs, such as Salone del Mobile in Milan and 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen.

From design greats like Antonio Citterio to the husband-and-wife duo behind Dainelli Studio, we dove head first into creative conversations to fully understand how their creative minds tick. In addition, we were offered a glimpse into their creative flow and how they stay inspired on their creative journeys.

Having designed for preeminent brands such as Cassina, Flos, Kartell, Mutina, Gan, and more, Patricia Urquiola is a force to be reckoned with. Her creativity knows no bounds, always staying curious while understanding trends in the industry. Her far-flung travels have also helped her to stay inspired in her creative journey.

Photo by Marco Craig

For Salone 2023, some of her striking designs include the "Rows" collection, comprised of tables and storage systems designed for Moroso. These pieces convey minimalist forms, yet rich in geometric details. The curved, milled edges running the length of the surface are found on four types of storage units, including two sideboards, a cabinet, and a console table with drawers designed for the living and dining space.

Zooming in on the materials, the pieces are made from particleboard with an oak veneer finish, which is applied using a membrane press. Through this process, the continuity of the wood grain is preserved, which gives the units an artisanal feel without hiding the industrial method of production.

The furniture pieces come in five finishes, such as coal grey, taupe, cinnamon, honey, and forest green. Meanwhile, the tables feature tops made of back-painted glass, marble, or plain wood.

(Related: Deep dive into design - Maxalto)

Photo by Leonardo Duggento

Can you tell us more about your relationship with the Moroso brand?
Moroso is a long-time partner of mine. Patrizia Moroso, the owner and founder of the brand, was the first person who believed in me and gave me a chance by giving me one of the first projects of my own studio. Since then, the company has been able to evolve; every new project with them is an occasion to discuss, research, and innovate. It’s a very beautiful story – a friendship that keeps on growing.

Photos by Leonardo Duggento

What inspired you to create the Rows collection?
The Rows collection is inspired by the Nature Morte by Amédée Ozenfant, a painter and writer who founded the Purism movement with Le Corbusier.  The smooth grooves that run through the length of the surfaces of the Rows collection recall the fluting on the objects painted by Ozenfant, like the shafts of the columns in Roman and Greek temples. I really like how these visual rhymes give Ozefant’s paintings a sense of unity and harmony. Through linear forms and clear-cut symmetries, I wanted to pursue the same expressivity with this collection as well.

Furthermore, we used colors that are tone-on-tone, with open-pore lacquering to bring out the natural tactile quality of the wood. I almost see these pieces as sculptures, showing a very strong contrast between the solidity of the structure, the graphic effect of the surfaces, and the linearity of the tops.

What are your thoughts on "good design" today, particularly in the furniture industry?
I link good design to intelligent research and transparent process. A good design project is taking risks during the development phase. It has unexpected connections between those that are familiar and those that reside in unexplored territories. Only this way can we achieve good design that is also timeless.