MOCO LOCO is 10 years on the web this year, to mark the occasion this week we’re talking to designers from where we began, our home town of Montreal. Furniture and object designer ZoÃÂ« Mowat’s work has a strong sculptural component with an emphasis on simple forms, bold colours and unusual material combinations.
We caught up with her at her studio in an old garment factory on the Plateau in Montreal.
MOCO: Tell us about your work right now…
Mowat: My most recent project is the Arbor jewelry stand. At the moment, I’m refining the design and starting (self) production.
I’ve been doing a lot of material sourcing and research as well as lots of testing in my studio. Currently, my larger pieces are only available to order, so it will be a nice change to have some inventory available.
Arbor jewelry stand
Glad you chose that piece, it’s one of our favourites. Where did it come from, a need, a desire, a problem?
Arbor was designed for the group show, “Shiny Pretty Things,” that was part of the Toronto Design Offsite festival last winter. I explored the idea of self-adornment and was inspired by bowerbirds – a unique species that collects coloured objects and displays them around their nests to attract a mate. Similarly, I wanted to create a perch that could display a treasured collection, something for shiny and pretty things.
Bowerbirds? Are you a birder (birdwatcher)?
I wouldn’t call myself a birder, but I definitely watch a lot of David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries.
What kind of reactions are you getting when people see the piece?
I’ve had good reactions. It’s a very sculptural piece, and I think initially, a lot of people are drawn to its form but aren’t immediately sure of its use. Once people understand the purpose of the wooden dowel and the coloured platforms and dishes, I think they can envision how they would arrange their own treasured items.