IDS 360° Virtual Series: MiMOKO

Image credit: Ronnie Murray (dubháin)

IDS 360° is a new virtual series created by IDS in solidarity with the industry and designers we champion. Launched across all our platforms, it highlights handpicked, diverse brands with video Q+As, product launches, studio tours, and more. Not taking our voice and reach for granted, the national IDS platform is accessing individual designers, architects and brands of all sizes to hear their visions, challenges, triumphs and potential for a more thoughtful, more beautiful design practice, post pandemic.

We are thrilled to continue the IDS 360° series with Vancouver-based MiMOKO, a ceramic studio founded by Monique Skelton, a New Zealand- born and raised creative who now calls Vancouver her home. Monique created MiMOKO out of a need to be surrounded by more nature indoors and to make nurturing plants an easy, enjoyable and elegant experience.

We recently sat down with Monique to chat about the inspirations behind her designs, her creative process and how it has changed during this turbulent time, as well as the launch of her new Kindred collection.

Q: Hi Monique, thank you for (virtually) sitting down with us today. To start off, please tell us a little bit about yourself, and the inspirations behind your designs.

A: I was born and raised in New Zealand. From early on in my art school years, I have always been interested in art that served a function. Taking it out of the white gallery walls and into everyday life means that it can be enjoyed by a far wider audience.

For the longest time, I’ve been drawn to the philosophies of Japanese design. There is true elegance found in simplicity when an object or space is pared down to its essentials. It’s not about stripping everything away, but giving careful consideration toward the design and materials and determining what’s most important. It’s not an easy task to do. This simplicity is found throughout Japanese culture: in their architecture, their interior design and spatial organization, in their Zen gardens and their ceramics, where everything is meticulously thought out and constructed but appears to be utterly fortuitous. In all of my designs, I aspire towards this seemingly effortless elegance.

Industrial designer Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles for Good Design is also worth mentioning and runs along a similar vein of “less but better.” For me, restraint in design leads the way for greater creativity, innovation and refinement.

Video credit: Cara Films

Q: What are you grateful for now more than ever?

A: Community. Despite all this social distancing and isolation, there’s a remarkable increase in connection right now. It’s inspiring to see people and businesses adapt and reach out to help out others, often at no expense. I’m so thankful for the hugely supportive community on Instagram, a platform that’s always been great but has grown stronger. I am loving all the live streams and posts of artists and designers sharing their work (often with interesting tutorials), the challenges they’re facing right now, and their support for one another. It’s been awesome to see and take part in events meant to take place that have gone virtual: festivals, concerts, gym classes, just to name a few. 

We’re all in the same boat right now and there’s something very humbling and warm about that. It’s proven that there is solidarity through hardship, and I know that we’ll come out of the other end stronger and most definitely more appreciative. 

Image credit: Ronnie Murray (dubháin)

Q: Tell us more about the Kindred Collection launching online today!

A: I’m really excited to release the new collection – the culmination of months of hard work! It’s a little nerve wracking with the market being so uncertain right now, but I hope it offers a little ray of happiness to those at home and inspires people to keep making. I’m grateful that I have an online platform to sell my work as all retail stores are sadly closed. It will be my first online product launch, so I am equally excited and nervous! 

This season we’re embracing a little more wildness, pairing lush blooms with layers of foliage and branches, setting the mood for a relaxed and creative interior space. Inspired by the spontaneity and asymmetry of Ikebana, traditional Japanese floral design, we’re drawn to displays that exude effortless beauty. The new “Kindred Collection” provides the perfect balance to the diverse beauty of nature with pared back porcelain forms. Hand thrown in my Vancouver studio, the new collection is a product of thoughtful refinement, finding the essence of what defines MiMOKO in three elemental forms: the sphere, the cone and the zigzag. I’ve organized this series into families with three sizes, designed to complement each other as a group but stand equally proud as individual pieces.  These simple but dramatic vases will elevate any space and inspire you to bring a little more wilderness indoors.

Image details: photo by Victor Yuen, Velour Productions; florals by Amanda Langerak, forage & BLOOM
Image details: photo by Victor Yuen, Velour Productions; florals by Amanda Langerak, forage & BLOOM
Image details: photo by Victor Yuen, Velour Productions; florals by Amanda Langerak, forage & BLOOM

About MiMOKO

Founded by Monique Skelton, MiMOKO is a brand of ceramic ware designed for plants to inspire you to live amongst more greenery.

Plants have a miraculous way of lifting our spirits, fueling our inspiration and improving our wellbeing. MiMOKO was born out of a need to be surrounded by more nature indoors and to make nurturing your plants an easy, enjoyable and elegant experience. MiMOKO’s handthrown planters and vases will elevate your favourite flora to a new level. Carefully constructed, pared back designs will let the plants speak for themselves and stand timeless for years to come.

In line with Japanese ideologies, Monique believes in the worth of natural materials, asymmetry and white space to create harmony. In her design process, there is a constant play of tension and balance to create this harmony. It is a continual exploration between corners and curves, austere and organic surfaces, matte and glossy finishes to achieve a balance of dynamic design that just feels right.

The Interior Design Show is part of the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC

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