Muller Van Severen Designer of the Year at Maison&Objet 2023

To celebrate its nomination as Designer of the Year at the latest edition of Maison&Objet, Belgian studio Muller Van Severen has created a scenographic walk through a selection of objects designed over the last 12 years for the Parisian fairgrounds

Hannes Van Severen, Fien Muller

The creative duo founded by Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen was born in 2011. In the same year, the studio Muller Van Severen was founded, into which their names have merged. The two, who are also a couple in life, met in 2001 in the sculpture class of the Sint-Lucas art school in Ghent, the Belgian city where their studio is still based. “The first pieces we made,” they recall, “were those designed for our first exhibition together, in 2011, at the Valerie Traan gallery in Antwerp”. The famous table supporting the lamp (Table + Lamp) dates from that year, to which they added some lamps, cutting boards, and other iconic pieces of furniture, including the shelf with table (Rack + Table) and the shelf with marble (Rack + Marble).

Future Primitive. design Muller van Severen

Since then, the studio has never stopped innovating. Driven by a constant desire to explore every corner of the fields of sculpture and design, and free from any form of academicism, Muller Van Severen proposes objects that can be exhibited as much as they can be experienced and experimented with, finding their rightful place in the white cube of a gallery as well as in the private comfort of a living room.

Future Primitive. design Muller van SeverenBalancing the worlds of art and design, the Belgian duo constantly strives to create objects that are sculpturally interesting when placed in a space. “We do want to make our objects sculpturally interesting in a space. We do think they are a kind of sculptures or even small architectural structures”, they confess. Their style is a balanced mix minimalism of forms and a wide variety of materials and functions.

Alltubes, design Muller van Severen
Alltubes, design Muller van Severen

“I think our work lies between being tamed and breaking out”, they continue. “Between being wild and being calm. Between the loud and the soft. We use tight frames, but wild things can happen in them. We also love transparency. We like play with the background en respect the space behind. And also to let it become one with the people’s living space and their personal belongings”. They seem to look fot the right balance between presence and absence. Between straight and curved lines, between masculine and feminine.

Wire, design Muller van Severen

At the September edition of Maison&Objet, which opens at Paris Villepinte from 7th to 11th September, Muller Van Severen will present the installation ‘Oasis’. A setting inspired by a walk through a selection of objects they have designed over the last 12 years. With brand new pieces and also pieces designed at the beginning of their careers. They will create a landscape within a room, around which the exhibition will take place, but which will also be hidden. Enclosed by four walls and a ceiling, it will only be accessible through three openings. Three islands that serve as pedestals, but also refer to the oasis they have created within the Evergem no-man’s land. Where their home, Atelier and garden are connected in a triangular relationship with a pathway in between. Away from noise, highways and commerce. Worth visiting.