After first meeting and working together in a florist shop in The Netherlands, it wasn’t until some years later that Ueli Signer (Swiss) and Florian Seyd (German) met again and founded The Wunderkammer.
Since 2005, The Wunderkammer has gone on to produce some of the most exotic interior designs and nature-based decorations for events and venues across Europe and Asia as well as the US, South Africa, Lebanon and Russia.
The Wunderkammer, German for ‘cabinet of curiosities’, was a name first coined by a friend who had watched the duo slowly develop floristry into all-encompassing decorations that took hold of every inch of a room. The term itself, describes their passion for collecting art and displaying their love of nature in a most eclectic style. With each project vastly different from the next, The Wunderkammer interprets a brief or a space to create an exquisite world full of natural artefacts, flowers and plant life along with custom designed furniture hand drawn by Ueli.
Along with their team, The Wunderkammer has created styling and floral decorations for private yachts, high-end hotels, five-star restaurants, global fairs and events, as well as a number of international A-list weddings. Together they have sourced rare flowers, air freighted tropical species to a tight deadline and brought together a series of natural wonders from across the world to decorate the Hermes Silk Ball in Amsterdam, the launch of Harper’s Bazaar in The Netherlands, the wedding of model Natascha Poly & Peter Bakker in St Tropez, Karl Lagerfeld’s Christmas Dinner and the opening of The Oasis of Matisse in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
A favourite amongst the fashion crowd, The Wunderkammer works with in-house departments on the curation of natural objects and decorations for the global showrooms of Tommy Hilfiger, Scotch & Soda, Calvin Klein and Karl Lagerfeld.
Weeks of preparation, painstaking logistics and meticulous creative direction have seen The Wunderkammer build a following of avid florists, botanists, interior designers and lovers of nature. Based in Amsterdam, the duo is frequently called upon to design and recreate spaces for both commercial and private exhibitions.
Along with their commissioned work The Wunderkammer produced a bi-annual Shop for a Week between 2008 and 2018, and offer a unique collection of objects and artefacts through their showroom and webshop.
Florian Seyd and Ueli Signer were named ‘one of 27 leading florists in the world‘ by Isabel Gilbert Palmer, in her book Formidable Florists (2016). Their house has made it into stylish books such as Living in Style Amsterdam by TeNeues (2017) and multiple magazines such as Architectural Digest. In 2019 PHAIDON released the book BLOOMS, contemporary floral design, which features The Wunderkammer too.
Picture credit: Marc van Praag
Shop for a Week
The Shop for a Week is easily explained as part-florist, part pop-up store and part-moving exhibition. But to really understand the immense creativity and detail that goes into each organic ‘store’, one must simply experience it for themselves. A concept first introduced to Amsterdam in 2008, this bi-annual event took place in empty spaces, galleries or abandoned storefronts.
Showcasing The Wunderkammer’s ideas, creations and objects each Shop for a Week includes a vast array of shells, feathers, minerals, stuffed animals, plants, seeds, horns, curiosities, flower vases, antique glass domes, handmade articles and more. Each ‘week’ offered a completely different experience to the next and works to a new philosophy or theme. A means for both Ueli and Florian to let their creativity work to their own rhythm, the result is a meeting place for friends and clients to appreciate their work and the nature they use to create it.
Museum het Cromhouthuis explores the family history of seven generations of Cromhout. Reopened in 2016 in one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canal houses, the museum takes visitors through the impact this family had on the city of Amsterdam during the Golden Age. Together with the museum’s curators, The Wunderkammer designed this new permanent exhibition and the contemporary and flamboyant decor and furnishings of each room. For this Ueli and Florian could draw from the rich collection of the Amsterdam Museum as well as their own archive of curiosities. By combining historical art with flowers and decorative elements they brought the history of the family Cromhout back to life.
In 2010 Florian Seyd and Ueli Signer released their first coffee table book Flavours in collaboration with photographer Jeannine Govaers and publisher MENDO.
In 2015 along with fashion designers Bas Kosters and Edwin Oudshoorn, Ueli and Florian created ‘floral fashion’, a series of wearable flower creations for Mooiwatbloemendoen.nl.
In 2018 The Wunderkammer collaborated with a perfume house to create two interior scents, in 2020 candles will be added.
Furniture and Artefacts
Ueli designs his own furniture and decorative objects exclusively available through The Wunderkammer web store and Shop for a Week. An interior line, also designed by Ueli is made up of a series of steel tables, cabinets, decorative screens, lamps, wall decorations and art. Travelling the world together, both Ueli and Florian are on a constant search for taxidermy, antiques and object d’art that they know will one day become part of a signature design.
Both Ueli and Florian were attracted to nature and especially that of plants and flowers from an early age. Having grown and worked their way into the industry in their respective countries, it is a fitting scene that they first met in what is known as ‘the flower country’. Florian Seyd and Ueli Signer started collaborating in 2005 and launched their first ‘Shop for a Week’ in 2008 under the name The Wunderkammer.
With Amsterdam their home base for work, the duo travel frequently and collect plant life, taxidermy, art and flea market finds that become part of the experience that is The Wunderkammer.
On the outskirts of Amsterdam, they live in an old farm filled with subtropical and tropical plants and all their finds from world travels, two turtles, one chameleon, twenty-three birds and five chickens. They love waking to the sounds of their birds, which they describe as a ‘tropical concert’. Another love of Florian and Ueli is working in their several gardens, which they call their Urban Farm. In future this magical place will be open to the public.