Today, innovative wall covering newcomer MOKO Interior produces 3D wall coverings made of real wooden veneers of 5 layers, all gorgeously designed and produced in Hungary. The creations are like sculpture and create stunning atmosphere and presence. The size of the panels alone are astounding — one standard piece is 94 x 94 centimeters and as such the walls are architectural elements in of themselves, and the company often will design features for a custom space as well, a boon to designers. In fact, their panels inspired Marcel Wanders to design a new motif for MOKO -to debut very soon.
The designs are not composed of solid wood but rather thin wooden layers, and one panel weighs only 10 kg, so they are easy to install and transport. As well inside the panel there is an empty space which can be filled with sound absorbent materials to create an acoustic version of each motif.
It’s such a pleasure to be able to interview the people behind these amazing inventions…..
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the creation of the company? What drove you to create the product?
We always had the idea in the back of our minds -the desire to see if we could create bent 3D wall panels. At first, it seemed impossible to “force” the wood to this shape.
How long did it take to develop these wall panels?
It took us one and a half year to develop it and to push the boundaries of the material.
Can you share more about your staff and creative team?
We have a team of 50 people based in Hungary, including designers, production team and sales department. Zsolt Karajz is the lead designer, who invented the motifs of MOKO. The production team is led by Zsolt Szabó, wood expert. We have a showroom in the city centre of Budapest with 8 wall surfaces showing different MOKO solutions and a professional sales team led by Krisztián Szetei, managing director.
Where are the materials made?
We only use the best quality wood originated from forests planted for production purposes. Most of the veneers we use are custom made for us. Our team is committed to environmentally sustainable solutions. We work with FSC certified wood veneers only and make sure that the adhesives and surface treatments used are eco-friendly also.
What is the process of manufacture and handicraft?
MOKO Interior deals with the design and manufacturing of mainly handcrafted multilayer structured wooden wall coverings. On the one hand the curved shapes and the visible surface treatments (grinding, polishing, staining and oil layers) require the highest handicraft that cannot be replaced by any machinery. The real value of the MOKO panels lays in the bare-handed craftsmanship. We intend to create the highest quality products, excluding mass production in the classic sense.
On the other hand, for some parts of the production process (molds of the patterns, bending the veneers, drying the surfaces) we only use high-tech computer-controlled machines for quality assurance.
What are the challenges of working with wood? We all know the story of making bendable malleable plastics to create organic sculptural furniture, such as the tale of invention for mid century modernist furniture like the Eames….
Bending an inflexible material was a big challenge, because the wooden veneers break very easily so we had to develop a special production technique to create the standard collection. The curved shapes we design require the highest handicraft and a long process of experimentation.
As an extreme result we managed to manufacture the Volga Corner which is special because the panel itself is also bent and follows the shape of the corner.
A bit about the craftspeople who make the wall coverings?
MOKO Interior started as a family business, in some way everyone was connected to wood. The people working in the production have a special perspective and sense for creating wooden surfaces.
What are some of your most interesting and challenging projects?
We realized a project in San Francisco last year, in Dolores Park, where the client requested a completely customized solution, inserting a staircase between the panels.
Dolores Park West, San Francisco
Other exciting projects?
At the moment we are working on two challenging projects, one is based in Canada and the designer is planning to put MOKO panels around an artificial fireplace.
The other project is located in Dubai. We produced a bespoke sized panel with a new motif designed by Zaha Hadid Architects for the lobby and the corridors of the Opus Hotel. The realization of this project is scheduled for the end of this year.
Learn more about the vision of MOKO.