Since 2011 Marcel Wanders and his Amsterdam studio have been working with Royal Dutch Airline KLM on a series of table 'characters' designed with lightness in mind, saving fuel and CO2 emissions.
"Wanders' design for KLM's business class tableware had calculable ecological benefits. by replacing ceramic bowls with lighter-weight plastic, a reduction of 700 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year was achieved." – Ingeborg de Roode, Curator for Industrial Design, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Designing for the airline industry is probably one of the most challenging and complex projects a designer can take on. It's a tough gig for so many reasons but it is also one of the most sought after. Marc Newson for Qantas, Hella Jongerius for KLM, Ross Lovegrove for Japan Airlines, they have all been recruited to make flying more enjoyable.
Marcel Wanders began his work with KLM in 2011 and since that time has developed a range of tableware items that are very much part of the Marcel Wanders family of objects and many are also connected to Moooi, the Dutch design company he co-founded with Casper Vissers. Here, the ceramic Delft Blue range that draws on the history of Dutch earthenware and goes back to the 17th century, is re-imagined for KLM in lighter materials. Its quirky sentiment is not lost but heightened.
"This was a really challenging project, to create an in-flight service with true character! We wanted to make something that welcomes you and makes you feel like you are a guest of KLM", remarks Marcel Wanders.
The accompanying film explores the behind-the-scenes of the Marcel Wanders x KLM project, and in 2015 KLM will publish a book that documents their 5-year collaboration.