Five Minutes With... Marokka

Five Minutes With... Marokka

Hello and welcome to "Five Minutes With...", our latest blog feature. Each month, we'll be having a brief chat with one of our marvellous suppliers... about life, the universe, and everything. By which I mean interiors and travel, obvs.

Notice board with text "Five Minutes With"

We work with a huge range of clever and creative maker-types, who craft all sorts of beautiful products, from ceramics, candles and chocolate, through prints, pencils and planters, to soap, sculptures and... some other great things. Join us for a glimpse behind the curtain and see what makes them tick. 

This month, we'll be talking to Joe Cocozza from über-cool design house, Marokka. Launched less than 2 years ago, their faceted sculptures are winning hearts and minds all over the place. We are certainly smitten!

Geometric grey dog sculpture with vases and flowers

Three geometric monochrome gorilla sculptures

Marokka's public artworks really are a sight to behold. Check it out:

Giant geometric gorilla sculpture

Marokka are also working with The Aspinall Foundation, a conservation charity, to raise awareness of the plight of gorilla's in the wild. In fact, £10 from each Gus sculpture sold will be donated to support the Foundation's conservation work.  

Gorilla in the wild

Ok, let's skip to it:

Hi Joe, can you tell us about your design/production process and materials?

3D printing has always been at the heart of our design process, but it’s not a viable production method because of the time it takes. So our smaller sculptures for the home are now rotation moulded from a recyclable plastic, one at a time, and each one is hand finished.

Hands holding dog sculpture

It’s a long process finding the right people to actually make your products - we wanted to work with real people, craftsmen, who cared about what they were doing. Eventually we found the right team, in Italy, who work with designers like Philippe Starck and Karim Rashid, and who embraced the challenge of making such challenging objects.

Dog sculpture being flame finished

Our larger sculptures, such as the giant Gus we made for British Land that was exhibited in London’s Broadgate last summer, are hand made in England, from fibreglass.  

Giant geometric gorilla sculpture on wheels

Wow, that sounds like quite the labour of love! Thanks for sharing this video with us, it's a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes. We're still crying with laughter at giant Gus' rollerskates!

Ok, onto something which hopefully took less work... which is your favourite room (or corner) of your home and why?

My kitchen, closely followed by the garden! It’s the lightest room in the house and there’s a lot of white corian, which looks and feels great! I work from home so spend a lot of time at the breakfast bar drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Where would we be without coffee?? We love Corian in the kitchen, it gives such a clean, quality feel. Now here's a question close to our hearts... can you share with us a White, Black or Grey item from your life and tell us about it? 

That’s got to be my Lego Architecture Studio set. I loved Lego as a kid and would play with it for hours on end. This is a grown ups set - all white bricks and no instructions so you can let your imagination run wild. It’s really meditative to just mess around with it, experimenting with shapes and spaces.

Box of monochrome lego

Well that is probably the coolest thing we have ever seen. We have massive Lego envy now. Talking of envy... If time and money were no object, where would you take your dream holiday?

I prefer travelling to holidays really, though when I need a holiday I head to Patnem Beach in South Goa, which is my happy place!  If I had a spare three or four weeks I’d like to trek the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, or head somewhere new. Iran is next on the list!

Mountain trail

These all sound extraordinary. The scenery in Nepal is just to die for. Ok, last question... could you tell us about another creative whose work you love?

I’m going to have to pick two writers - my sister, Paula Cocozza, and my friend Lisa Halliday. They both published their first novels in the past year and I’m incredibly proud of and inspired by their achievements! 

Book Cover - How to be Human by Paula Cocozza

Book Cover - Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

Awesome. You must be super-proud of them! Thanks so much for sharing these with us, we'll add them to our reading lists for sure. 

OK, tea break over. Thanks for your time Joe, this has been so much fun. We're off to hunt down one of those Lego sets now. 

Check out our selection of Marokka products right ----> here

We do hope you enjoyed this feature. Do feel free to comment with any thoughts... perhaps your own dream holiday destinations, beloved monochrome items, or favourite makers - go on, share the love. 

All image in this post copyright Marokka Design, with the exception of:
First two images in the post copyright White Black Grey Limited.
Gorilla in the wild image copyright The Aspinall Foundation.
Nepal image copyright Our Global Trek.
How to be Human book cover image copyright Penguin Books Ltd. 
Assymetry book cover image copyright Granta Books. 
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