The Iron Man of Marrakech

Today I made another stop on my quest to find some of the best designers and artisans in Marrakech with an eye on co-ordinating visitor experiences for art and design lovers, hobbyists and professionals.

Browsing around Sidi Ghanem; the design and industrial district of Marrakech, I bumped into Daniel of Fer Attitude. I’ve dubbed Daniel the ‘Iron man of Marrakech’, his ironwork is amazing and I’d say he is as prolific as Picasso or Dickens. He also shares some of Picasso’s famous wit in design with pieces which have a dual purpose or transform; a reversible chair, a fold out mirror, collapsable tables or furniture than can change height or size. I fell in love with a small thing – a candelabra which functions like a set of weighing scales, and I liked some of the simple ideas with a twist like a cube perspective wall hanging – ‘it’s hard to make simple’ he says ‘like Camus or Steinbeck, short books are difficult to write’.

His space in Sidi Ghanem which he has dubbed ‘unhollywood’ is vast and houses everything from small table items to furniture and sculptures. In the back yard the real work happens you can see a post apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ style mass of twisted metal, watch sparks fly and listen to the screech of angle grinders; it feels beautifully industrial, raw and real. You’d think with this much in one place you would have a staff of 50 or more, but Daniel informs me there is only a tight team of 10 here.

Creativity must pour out of Daniel – I asked him if he ever slept, there are so many great pieces and ideas. It’s not surprising that he exports worldwide to places as far afield as Columbia and Australia, and its easier to get this clients now; the World is small he says.

I will meet with Daniel again but if you think bending some metal and learning about Daniels take on design is your idea of a fun day or afternoon, or you are interested in buying some affordable pieces, let me know. He has taught a few French and Belgium visitors, but I’m not sure many British people have been to his place yet.

A must for design lovers.

Fer Attitude – Quartier Industrial, Sidi Ghaneim, Lot 532, Marrakech