Dutch designer Marcel Wanders on the creative joy he gets in Amsterdam, and other favourites

The Dutch product and interior designer is best known for his 1996 Knotted chair. He has since worked on more than 1,700 projects for brands such as Alessi, Bisazza and KLM, and co-founded the design label Moooi. Wanders will exhibit his new Grandfather Clock for Christofle at Downtown Design Dubai this month

If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?

I would want to be in Amsterdam, in my studio, collaborating with some of the most creative and intelligent minds in design and art.

What was your first-ever luxury purchase?

When I was a student, my first luxury purchase was a drafting table. It may not seem like a major purchase, but for me it was the most important thing I could think of to spend my money on.

Are you a collector? If so, what do you like to collect?

I collect memories. I look for opportunities to try new things, go to new places and meet new people all the time. Being open to the unexpected allows me to bring so much to my craft.

What is the most played track on your iPod right now?

I listen to a variety of music. I like everything from old Arabic music to Portuguese fados. However, the most recent album I purchased was The Return of the Space Cowboy by [British funk and acid jazz band] Jamiroquai. I’d say I listen to that quite frequently.

which would you say is the best book you have ever read?

I enjoy reading anything that illustrates our sense of place and investigates why we are here. Most recently, I read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything. It’s an excellent exposition of where we are and where we might go as a society.

What, in your opinion, is the best car ever manufactured?

The best car ever made is the best ecologic electric car from today. So, I would pick the efficient Smart ForTwo Electric Drive convertible/coupé.

What is your top style tip?

My tip to anyone is to dress for the occasion. Don’t try to overdress or underdress to make a statement. Let your actions do that. And sometimes, for me that means wearing a suit. Sometimes, leather pants. And sometimes, it means wearing nothing at all.

What are your go-to grooming products?

I often just let my hair do what it will. Maybe I brush it, maybe I don’t. Sometimes I use product in it, at other times, none. It really depends on the occasion.

which are some of your favourite cities in the world?

I love many cities around the world, from New York to Shanghai, but my favourite city, of course, is Amsterdam. It is my home and it is like no other place with regards to open-mindedness, creativity and culture. I also enjoy Fez, Morocco, where I recently spent a wonderful vacation with my daughter, Joy. While we were there we experienced a sandstorm. What an adventure.

You are sitting down to the perfect meal. Where are you, whom are you with and what are you eating?

Where we eat and what we eat are less important to me than with whom I am dining. It is the company that makes the meal. However, I always imagined the perfect meal for me would be when I die, and only then, to invite the four most inspiring women in my life to dinner, and it would be a meal to last for eternity.

What is the best, or most inspiring, piece of advice that you have ever received?

The best advice I ever received was being told to never quit. Very often, it’s only when you think you have exhausted every idea and design that trying a juxtaposing colour, pattern or material sparks a whole new concept. That it is the beauty of what we do. And when you allow yourself to be open to it, inspiration can be found anywhere.

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