When we visited the Moroso factory we were privileged to spend the afternoon in the inspiring company of Patricia Moroso. Patricia is the second generation of the Moroso family and runs the business with her brother Roberto the CEO. She gave us a fascinating insight into how she has evolved the company.
On transforming Moroso.
“Moroso was a company since the 50s doing nice things, with good qualities, safe design, modern but nothing crazy but then I came along. When I came the art direction was done by Antonioa Citterio in Italy the ‘super king’. I started with the research as I was studying art and I tried to change a little bit, which I did in the end.
At the beginning the collections were like boom. My first collection was done by a 22 year old friend of mine still at university. He was inventing a design movement and all the objects were very interesting because they were totally new back in 86 to what was happening around. Soon after we started working with Ron (Arad). I knew Ron and his first collection was interesting, one day I met him in the fair in Milano and we were discussing the idea to translate his artist and sculptural work that he was doing and translate his iconic shapes from metal to soft and colour and fabric. (to make his work commercial).
My first collections were strange, like capsules inside this little nice company in the middle of the Italian countryside, no presence in Milano. For many years we did these capsules for another kind of people but then in the end we realised that this was a good way to change the company. Some of these designers I was meeting in these years like Patricia Urquiloa, she was for us absolutely the most important designer in these years. So with her I tried not just to make another crazy capsule of ideas but to change the basic identity of the company. With her we started making sofas which then became our best sellers, they became very important design projects and remain an icon for us.
Design in the end totally transformed the spirit of the company. It went from a traditional company that had normality and then the capsules but is a company making design. With Patricia Urquila now more established and so famous working for big companies but she is also with us because we were the first company that pushed her in the design world and gave her credibility to do these things. When I started working with her she was unknown, a young designer in the studio like many and she knows that and we are close friends.”
“We have a number of objects that come from ideas all over the world . England, japan, Spain I think I can count 40 different counties and our designers are more than 50, not all working together of course. This is our way to show diversity and listen to different ideas and different worlds and different imaginations. From the beginning I started making not just objects but families of objects because I wanted to describe the world of the designer not just one piece. “
“A lot of our designers are based in London I really this city and I think its the most beautiful. I’m very sad for Brexit but things will change maybe I don’t know it’s a terrible moment. Anyway London remains the place where design has a big sense in terms of thinking, projects, developing in many, many ways. It’s not the production place any more but we are here (in Italy) and happy to help. “
On manufacturing in Italy.
“The price is high OK, but its made in Italy because I want to make things in my country because we need to preserve our people and also these skills, its done here because these are the ones that can make it properly. “
On Happy accidents.
(Visiting the factory where the Supernatural chair is made) “what I saw was something fantastic. I am a crazy collector of what comes from the factory the waste of the production. When you have to change the colour there is a moment when you have to clean the mould which is full of the colour before. You use the second colour the next colour to clean it. So there are something like 15 pieces that are thrown away, not thrown away recycled, they are destroyed and put again in the production. I said look look no no stop wait what are you doing. Throwing away this beautiful thing. The first two or three have the two colours together and since then I ask the production please don’t throw these pieces away put them into a box for me. We then displayed these pieces in Milan a few years ago and people asked can we make these which is beautiful because its showing the process. Maybe a little strange and different but it is showing the process and that is fantastic for me.”
On the Outdoor collection.
“One day we said OK lets do an outdoor collection, what we saw before in other companies was things very elegant or cheap but always like inside. I think that outside you don’t have to be square or brown or white. Outside you are in the garden or close to the beach, nature is there and you have to relate. I start thinking that maybe we develop something more free and more colourful, the first person I met was Tord Bontje, the perfect person with flowers everywhere I mentioned something with butterfly, clouds that is my idea.”
“For me, of course its very important . Africa is a part of the world I love a lot. My husband is from this part of the world and he takes care of our production there. We are working in Senegal, Dakar, a beautiful city, of course it is Africa and there are problems but the people there are so sweet and so nice and we want to communicate that. Because who is making something is important, the object has the energy of the place that it is from, from the people who are making it, everything has a soul.
The designers go in, talk with the people, understand what is possible. They are so happy and proud to take pictures of the designers and proud that they are making things that will travel around the world.”