Maison Marou, a Vietnamese chocolate company, is one of the first "bean to bar" companies in Asia, and one of the few in the world to make chocolate at the origin. What began as a dream has become a brand of pure dark chocolate entirely made from Vietnam's finest ingredients. Rice Studios, a Vietnamese creative and branding studio, has recently designed a "floating-factory" concept specifically for the Thao Dien location.
Taking inspiration from the brand itself and putting that into a physical space led to the spatial design, furniture, and a fresh, dynamic graphic identity that fully represents the brand. Not only that, but the shipping boxes also became instant "accidental signage" that is a walking billboard with designs inspired by the king of pop-art, Andy Warhol. The entire identity is playful and adventurous, perfect for a chocolate brand that constantly pushes the limits.
As the first purpose-built Maison Marou, the Thao Dien location offers a fresh look at the brand. Architects HTAP proposed a 'floating-factory' concept, and Rice took the opportunity to streamline the identity, and interior design under this playful and liberating idea, as the most hands-on, educational, multi-functional, café / factory yet for the chocolate makers.
Rice deconstructed Marou brand assets—discovering new solutions that talked about process and making—this exploration directly informed spacial design, furniture, and a fresh dynamic graphic identity. Our approach to furniture design led us to Factory-like, Andy Warhol-inspired shipping boxes that stack, become partitions or arrange as 'accidental' signage.
We developed an interlocking modular card system that became a playful solution for larger furniture in plywood. The system lent itself to a Charles and Ray Eames inspired —Marou adventure card game for kids in the spirit of, MAKING—BREAKING—BUILDING—PLAYING.
Identity and Spatial Design: Daniel Keeffe, Aprar Elawad
Production: Anna Dinh, Bang Lam, Hieu HuynhLocation Images: Ben NguyenStudio Images: Wing Chan