Moroso, the Italian company that creates some of the world’s most innovative furniture, is taking its story on the road. The company commissioned Rockwell Group, an award-winning design firm that specializes in hospitality, retail, product and set design, to showcase its past and present through a mobile showroom. Open in New York as of last week, the show will conclude on November 26 before moving to Chicago and seven other cities in 2012.
Patrizia Moroso, art director of her namesake firm, turned to her long-time friend David Rockwell to merge the drama of Moroso’s collection with the dynamism of a Rockwell-designed environmental experience to ramp up the impact of the presentation in each U.S. city. Well-versed in the art of theatrical transformation, Rockwell happily rose to the challenge; his partnership with Moroso will continue next year with a Rockwell a collection poised to debut for Moroso in Milan 2012.
"No company can afford to operate showrooms the way we did in the past. Pop-up shops have opened up a new and exciting sales venue for fashion and retail, and it struck me that the concept could also be applied to furniture showrooms,” said George Kordaris, CEO of Moroso USA. “A showroom that can be moved to different cities allows us to support our sales representatives with a physical presence and gives us exposure to local design communities in an exciting—and affordable—format. It also occurred to us that David is one of the best at creating that kind of excitement."
Rockwell Group’s concept for the Traveling Show—a boardwalk composed of horizontal and vertical pallets made from unfinished wood frames, upholstery tacks, and theatrical clamp lighting—adapts some of the materials and techniques used to craft Moroso furniture. Peppered with neon flourishes, the path of the exhibition will showcase 25 significant pieces from the Moroso oeuvre, with some interesting notes of history illustrated through images and drawings from Moroso’s archives that highlight the work of its many notable designers, who include Ron Arad, Carlo Colombo, Enrico Franzolini, Marc Newson, Toshiyuki Kita, and Patricia Urquiola.
“The idea of creating a flexible, easily constructed environment to tell Moroso’s story is quite exciting,” said David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. “We hope that touring the country and bringing a theatrical presentation of the renowned furniture to the public, and specifically design students, will create a sense of community in each city.”
The Moroso Traveling Show has been designed to be highly flexible, and quickly broken down, transported in a Moroso truck, and re-assembled in a variety of site types on a weekly basis. In a typical venue, the show is installed in one day and open for three days for the public, students, and the local A&D community. At the end of its visit, the show is disassembled and moved. It is a more economical, affordable way to cover a number of markets, as well as environmental, as elements are used and reused time and again.
The show’s other destinations include Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, and Vancouver. The progress of the Traveling Show can be followed through Moroso’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
To find out more about the show or how to visit, www.morosousa.com.