Moooi wallpaper inspired by drawings of extinct animals

Archive drawings of extinct animals informed this wallpaper collection by Dutch brand Moooi, created in collaboration with Belgian studio Arte.

Presented at this year’s Milan design week, the collection features 10 wallcoverings inspired by the fur, plumage or skin of extinct animals, which the designers found while researching old museum illustrations of bygone creatures.

The Extinct Animals wallcoverings are made from a wide range of materials, including suede, metal foil, paper weave, raw jute and moiré textile.

“We searched museums around the world and found the most incredible drawings of bygone animals, documented by explorers on their travels,” said Marcel Wanders, co-founder at Moooi. “So much of what has lived is lost and can only live in our memories and imagination.”

“For Moooi, the ‘Museum of Extinct Animals’ became an inspiration. We want to share our excitement, wonder and love, and try humbly, against our better judgement, to hold on to what is lost and celebrate it coming back alive again,” he continued.

According to the brand, each piece is named after an extinct animal, including the dwarf rhino, armoured boar, dodo, umbrella squid, caligraphy bird, flying coral fish, blushing sloth, aristo quagga, blooming seadragon and bearded leopard.

Patterns are based on the colour-palette and texture of the animals, as depicted in the drawings.

When designing the collection, the designers also took into account the folklore surrounding the extinct animals.

The first wallpaper in the series is the Aristo Quagga, named after a creature that resembles a zebra. Inspired by its “delicate features and royal appearance”, the pattern is gridded in a brown colour with faint black markings.

The Armoured Boar is printed on gauze and Japanese paper to mimic the allegedly shiny coat of the bygone creature and has yellow and blue accents.

Meanwhile, the Dodo Pavone bases its pattern on the soft plumage of a dodo-like bird and features a three-dimensional motif of grey, blue, beige and white.

A print inspired by the Blushing Sloth also features in the collection and has a grey-brown flock finish to resemble the animal’s fur, while the Caligraphy Bird wallcovering is a blue colour with calligraphy swirls.

The wallcoverings are currently on show part of Moooi’s The Museum of Extinct Animals exhibition at Milan Design week, which runs until 22 April. The collection also includes a range of fabrics, leathers and carpets.

Other brands launching collections during the festival include Sanwa, which has unveiled its latest collection of tiny kitchens for micro homes, and Hem, whose new furniture range includes a sofa that can be packed into boxes.

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