The pedestal-base Emperor in the Common Comrades series, like its 5 other sister pieces, offers a clever personification of country life from Shanghai-based duo Neri&Hu. Crafted from solid birch, a sliver of the natural wood peeks through the red-lacquered finish. Like the table’s color that signals good fortune, it's a lucky stroke that once-utilitarian functionality gets such a glamorous gloss.
15.7" h x 15.7" w x 15.7" d (40x40x40cm)
It rhymes with “boy,” and a child’s wonder and uninhibited creative impulse is at the heart of this Amsterdam design house co-founded in 2001 by Netherlands design star Marcel Wanders. Then as now, Moooi’s aim is to crack conventions of modern design, providing a platform for the most experimental creatives around the world, including Studio Job, Bertjan Pot, Front and Neri&Hu, as well as creative director Wanders himself.
Some of Moooi’s beautifully eccentric pieces like the charred-wood Smoke Chair; the nearly life-size Horse Lamp; and Iconic Eyes, a dazzling hanging light made of BMW headlights, have become design icons. “We are not the kind of company that decides to produce a commercial chair and then contacts the right designer,” says Robin Bevers, who took the reins as CEO in 2015, after co-founder and Dutch design entrepreneur Casper Vissers stepped away. “It’s rather the other way round: they contact us.” From hotels to homes, the flights of fancy in furnishings, wallcoverings, rugs, lighting and décor from Moooi continue to marvel.
“We believe in architecture and design as a powerful cultural force,” observes Rosanna Hu, who founded her eponymous and much-acclaimed practice with partner Lyndon Neri in 2004. Though based in a bustling Shanghai neighborhood, the Neri&Hu Design and Research Office is known for a global portfolio that spans architecture, interior design, furniture, products and exhibition design. To wit, the multi-cultural team speak more than 30 languages.
Neri&Hu initiate both their own design projects for a number of brands as well as oversee the entire creative direction of luxury furniture maker Stellar Works, also based in Shanghai. At A+R, their lighting for Barcelona’s Paranchilna and for Dutch house Moooi is also represented. “We are still too young to have a distinct language,” notes Rosanna, “so we flow in many directions depending on the specificity of the project.”
Both Rosanna and Lyndon’s worldview stems from their educational and professional trajectories. “We are both born in different parts of the world than that of our grandparents, grew up learning multiple dialects and then went to school in the West,” says Lyndon, who received a Master of Architecture at Harvard University after his undergraduate days at UC Berkeley. Rosanna received her Master of Architecture and Urban Planning at Princeton University after also studying at UC Berkeley. The duo subsequently worked for a number of noted American firms including Michael Graves and Skidmore.
Their prolific studio has earned a host of awards, including Dezeen’s Architecture Studio of the Year for 2021, induction into U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2013, UK Wallpaper Designer of The Year and I. D. Magazine’s I.D. Forty, to name just a few.