Barcelona is the new centre of creativity. This is where we meet Andrea Conti, a lady with a philosophy which permeates her professional and her family life....
He has long hair, a face that seems to have been sculpted with a wire modelling tool, and a stately demeanour. Marc Morro is a free spirit and one of the most gifted and atypical designers of the Barcelona scene. As co-founder of AOO, he started with wood, his standard material, and created purely functional furniture with the simplest of looks. An obvious place to start. Each creation has to make sense. Marc Morro and Oriol Villar, his partner, are keen on making that known. Everything is locally produced. Even the raw material comes from Spain’s Mediterranean coast. The coast which has had such an impact on him. Born in Majorca, Marc Morro has been making his elegant progress around the world for quite some time. His many experiences have been seminal. Back on familiar territory, he pursued his creative career, surrounded himself with the best – Nacho Alegre, one of the two founders of the magazine Apartamento, is one of his close friends – made his dreams come true by rubbing shoulders with Miguel Milà and devoted himself to his other passion, tennis. Life is good for Marc Morro. Criss-crossing the long avenues of the barrios of the Catalan capital by motorbike to get to his workshop in Poblenou, he seeks and imagines design solutions for various brands to which he provides creative services. A stimulating daily life that the cabinetmaker brings into his own home. Surrounded by prototypes and accompanied by Ari, his partner, who is also an artist, Marc Morro reveals a natural world to us, filled with the scent of pine trees.
Marc, could you introduce yourself?
I am going to give you 5 basic information things about me: I was born in Mallorca but I now live in Barcelona. I am a furniture designer. Together with my partner Oriol Villar we have our own small furniture company: AOO. I play tennis. I used to play a lot when I was a child and I returned to it two years ago. I try to be as simple as possible with the things I do (inside and outside my work).
Could you describe your job and your love for the wood?
I am mainly the head and co-founder (together with Oriol Villar) of AOO, a small furniture company from Barcelona stablished in 2013. We like things made here (Mediterranean spanish coast, it’s what make more sense for us), made by ourselves, by artisans or by local manufacturers. Wood is mostly the starting point of our pieces at AOO. We can talk about its smell, its warmth and give a long list of adjectives, but above all we work with wood because it is easy to work with really basic tools, and it doesn’t require a crazy or heavy industrial transformation to get to the final material. Wood is the most variable and adaptable raw material available to man in nature, and that’s why we work with it. Also, I work as a designer for other brands and commissions.
Could you describe a typical day in Barcelona? What do you like most?
This is what a standard tuesday looks like for me. 7.30: I wake up. 8.00: I’ve already taken a shower and a coffee (I never eat breakfast). 8.00 – 13.30: I work in my studio/workshop in Poblenou, or I go around town to meet with my suppliers or artisans. Around 12 I go to the bakery (Cruixent) to grap some food. 13.30 – 15.30: I go to play tennis. 15.30 – 16.00: I eat something on the way to the showroom. 16.00 – 19.00: I stay in the AOO showroom/studio at Sèneca street (more for “sitting work”). From 19.30 until 00.00-1.00 (that is more or less when I go to sleep) is more random. Today for example, it’s pretty simple, I’m going to meet with a friend to have a beer and talk about a project we want to start together, and then I’ll go home to have diner with Ari (my girlfriend). I mostly spend my day going from one place to another, and I do it by motorbike (I couldn’t make it any other way). A nice thing is that a lot of the ideas or things that I have to solve, I do it while driving the motorbike from one place to another. I am alone, there is no phone, no distraction (just driving, and I go pretty slow normally) so it makes it perfect to think about things. Normally when I get to a destination I have to write down something before I even take off my helmet.
What is your motto?
I guess to always create furniture (or anything) with the aim of making them as ordinary, basic, functional and anonymous as possible.
How did you choose the decorative style of your home?
I think 90% of the pieces that are in our home are prototypes or fast improvisations. Of course I also have pieces from different brands and people that I love. But I always say that my home is the worst place to see what we do, because you find the test pieces, the fixed ones, etc. Almost never the final “neat” pieces.
The piece that you like most in your collection?
If by“collection” you mean the AOO collection, it’s hard to say, it depends on the day. Today, for example, I would say the Bravo stool, designed by Big Game. It’s always great to collaborate with people that you admire, and even more so when you get such a good result. But if by “collection” you mean the pieces that I have in my home I wouldn’t know what to say… I don’t really feel attached to any specific object in a way where I can have a favorite and believe it is unique. Mostly they are just objects that I use for specific things. From this concept I guess my phone and my computer are my favorite objects, because inside them I have big part of my life, and I need them pretty much.
How do you want your work to evolve in the future?
I would like to keep going with AOO, that’s for sure, with a really solid and specific collection (step by step we are working on that). And then maybe move to a small island in a super small house with a tennis court as a patio and a big space workshop/space for AOO. That’s it.
Could you give us 2 addresses where we can meet you?
Barcelona has been getting too crowded these past few years, now more than ever. That scares me a lot, we are losing the city because of the amount of people and because of the things that are being created for all this mass of people. The only thing I have in that way are some specific places where there aren’t so many people yet (not the mass people at least). I love that, and for now I want to try to keep it like that. If you come to Barcelona, just let me know and I will privately tell you where we can meet.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Traduction: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily