Marco Justus Schöler is restless; he cares about the future and “tomorrow” – that is why he aptly named his atelier “Studio Morrow”; he is all against single-use plastics; he is a photographer. The latter is perhaps the gluing discipline keeping all of the above together. So, after swiftly arranging a vis-à-vis meeting, we sat down with him in his Berlin Friedrichshain studio and, while conversing about the art of film-making and Albatross, Chris Jordan’s documentary, we talked about “flirting” with Walter Knoll. As de rigueur, he passionately recounted how his collaboration with the brand came about and how he founded Plastaway with Oliver Schleith, publisher of Whitelies Magazine.
How did you get into this collaboration with Walter K.?
At the end of last year, our Plastaway team was looking for a German furniture company that had a style fitting Studio Morrow. We searched for a furniture company that had the focus on sustainability and a fair manufacturing process – so we asked Walter K.. Since the philosophy of Walter K. and Plastaway are such a perfect match, we were very happy to work with them.
Bauhaus is turning 100: what is your take on the popular school and how it has affected global design for decades?
For me, Bauhaus stands for having the courage to innovate and for pure minimalism. Minimalism leaves room for creativity and free thoughts. Bauhaus characterized and started a new era of modern design. In nearly every design, we are able to find inspiration from the Bauhaus movement.
Tell us about Plastaway, what pushed you to found the NGO?
In 2016, I brought an exhibition called “Faces behind the Voices” to life. It started as a multimedia project featuring 30 of the most famous German dubbing actors. The exhibition toured 22 cities for two and a half years and attracted ca. 5.4 million visitors, so far. I was pleasantly surprised about the magnitude of its reach and decided to launch a sustainable venture to shift all that attention onto a sustainable purpose. As a result, at the beginning of 2017, my colleague and friend Oliver [Schleith] and I founded the organization Plastaway. We are a modern NGO run by an alliance of creatives and opinion leaders belonging to media, politics, sports and entertainment, aiming to inspire people from all around the world to avoid single-use plastics. We’ll bring together NGOs, brands, celebrities and influencers to generate the highest reach possible to spread one message: avoid single-use plastics! For example, at the end of 2017, we contacted American graphic designer David Carson because we were looking for an art director to create our brand identity. He helped us but wanted to be part of Plastaway; today he still is our Art Director. He’s the creative mind behind the redesign of the “I love NY” logo.
Walter K. and Plastaway have something in common: sustainability. How do you think the two brands relate with regards to the environment?
My generation (I’m 28 years old) was born into a society to which was normal to throw away loads of things without second thought. For decades, Walter K. has been standing for high quality. Who buys cheap, buys twice. Quality and sustainability cost money, but it’s worth it. It’s all about appreciation.
What’s the common ground between your photography and what Walter K. does – interior design?
I would say our common ground is minimalism and significance. I’m in love with significant and minimalistic portraits!