Zsolt Szabó
Founder&Creative director of SzaboART

“I believe in magic going beyond the momentum of illusion that my customers relive each day in their homes through my craft.”

Zsolt Szabo was born in Budapest on May 13, 1968. Composing in the workshops as a young child has nurtured his passion for wood early on. Wood lathe as a profession was an obvious choice; he studied at the Gyula Kaesz Vocational School of Woodworking from 1982 and 1985. His endurance and diligence were inherited likely from his father, Ferenc Jozsef Szabo. Ferenc was the first CNC metal lathe operator in Hungary who has created numerous prototypes with “impossible” structures. Indeed, the word “impossible” is absent from their vocabulary. To date, humility and passion for work are the key drivers in their lives.  

Zsolt founded his first business at the age of 16. His curiosity was perhaps the main driver leading him to explore the applicability of numerous materials. A consequence of such an experiment was his collection of handmade lamps, among others.

In 1991, after five years in the handmade lamp business, he had returned to wood – the determining element of his life. He started manufacturing his furniture and breathing life into old, dilapidated furniture through restoration. This time around, his work started gaining popularity and recognition – Zsolt has received dozens of woodworking commissions in Europe and overseas. Creativity has always been an integral part of his career. Since his childhood, he could see objects multidimensionally, helping him ornament his crafts with nature-inspired horizontal and vertical lines.

At the end of the Millennium, in 1999, he has introduced his unique wall panels as part of the collection offered by his new company, SYKOMOR Kft. Zsolt had co-founded with his brother. Their hard work and persistence had paid off in 2015 when SYKOMOR was awarded 44th place in the TOP 100 Hungarian Furniture Companies competition. 

Zsolt considers himself very lucky as he had an opportunity to design the curved European walnut wall panels of the Budapest Palace of Arts, whose construction was supervised by Gábor Zoboki, the Ybl-awarded Hungarian architect.

Later, from 2014 and 2019, he became the co-owner of MOKOINTERIEUR Kft & LTD. He led in cooperation with Zsolt Karajz, also co-owner. During his years with MOKOINTERIEUR, Zsolt worked on various craftsmanship, such as furniture renovation and wooden panel manufacturing. He crafted such authentic furniture reproductions such as:

– the 24-carat gold-covered wooden chairs from Napoleon’s age at the Office of the President of the Republic of Hungary.

– the furniture in the Mineral Deposit by Maria Theresa located at the ELTE, the top Hungarian University of Natural Science.

– MOKO 3D wood panels shipped to many corners of the world and wall-mounted in homes, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and aquariums. 

MOKO also presented at world exhibitions:

February 2013/ RIMINI, Italy, Tourism Exhibition

April 2014/ DISTRIBUTOR: SOLINFO Lighting&Home Budapest

September 2014/ LONDON, England 100 Percent Design

February 2015/ VANCOUVER, Canada International Design Show

September 2015/ AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, ISE Amsterdam 

February 2017/ MILANO, Italy, Salone del Mobile

2017/ Downtown Design Exhibition Show in DUBAI.

March 2019/ SAN DIEGO USA DISTRIBUTOR

The year 2021 opens a new era in Zsolt’s life. He recently founded SzaboART family manufacture is developing with his son, Mario.

In Zsolt’s life, the most significant thing is maintaining family harmony that spans through generations. His ultimate goal is to hand the legacy his children, Mario (19), Bendeguz (8), Lili (6). 

Besides the popular wood wall-mount panels, SzaboART introduces a new product line in the global interior design market – stone wall panel decorations. In the future, the artist aims to emphasise the significance of nature through his work while making everyday life more colourful with his unique style. His main interests include the design, development, and production of his unique 3D product line. The most memorable events in his life, as Zsolt says, are those “when he paddles with his family”. 

Masters: Laszlo Kiraly, Sandor Csepregi-interior designers, inspired Philippe Starck, ideal: Zaha Hadid. 

Over the past 36 years, his work has been granted with several national and international awards: Design Award (1999), Master of Construction Award (2002, 2004), “50 Succesful Businesses” (2006), LEED Gold Certification (2011), “Create” Certification (2013)