We had the pleasure of visiting the acclaimed Belgian design duo Muller Van Severen in their home and greenhouse-turned-studio in Ghent. In the video, the two designers present and talk about their material-driven, playful designs, and share the thoughts behind.
Van Severen and Muller talk about how they collaborate and the contemplations that go into their choice of materials – and colours: “It’s not something we do as an addition to the design. For us, it’s like a material. We don’t play with it afterwards. It’s there from the beginning.” Changing the colour of an object, they feel, changes it completely, which reflects their way of thinking about design: “We just try to make – with the same objects – as many combinations as possible. We want to try different things in one object.” Architecture and space are also essential to them, and when they design an object, they are always very aware of the floor, the walls and the ceiling: “It’s important for us to also grab the room behind it, and to see it through the furniture.” Finally, the couple emphasize the importance they place on designing things that last a long time: “We want to make tables or furniture that are for life.”
Founded in 2011, Muller Van Severen is the moniker of Belgian partners in work and life, artists Fien Muller (b.1978) and Hannes Van Severen (b.1979), who work at the intersection of art and design. With their 2011 debut design collaboration – a line of multicoloured, mix-and-match tables, chairs, and shelves – Muller Van Severen quickly became popular in the design world for their natural approach and unmistakable style with minimalist, material-driven designs. Their 2013 collection, Furniture Project, features colourful combinations of a table, a hanging lamp, a chair, a chaise longue and shelves in tubular steel, leather and polyethene.
Fien Muller & Hannes Van Severen were interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen at their studio in Ghent, Belgium in February 2020. The studio was renovated by interior architect Élise Van Thuyne.
Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Edited and produced by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen