What design trends/classics do artists and designers, Muller and Van Severen, consider their favorites?
Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen with the Arcs Mirror and the Arcs Trolly, two new additions to their Arcs Collection for HAY. Photograph courtesy HAY.
Artists Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen came together to found their Belgium-based furniture studio, Muller Van Severen, in the early spring of 2011. With their finger on the pulse of sculpturally interesting furniture design, the team creates with a sense of an object’s purpose as well as the physical space it inhabits, taking into account the surrounding area as a vital component of the final design.
Muller and Van Severen admit their deep appreciation and love of materials is the starting point for their projects as they explore many mediums in their work from leather, brass, and marble, to polyethylene, steel, and enamel. With this passion, each material is carefully chosen to produce a deliberate, tactile experience as well as prioritizing care and longevity during the design and crafting process.
The design duo's multi-award-winning work has gone on to appear in collaborations with prestigious international museums and galleries, while Muller Van Severen has continued to partner with globally recognized brands and has become one of the most image-defining European brands of today.
The Wire s #1 of Muller Van Severen’s WIRE Series is a seat that exercises the balance of the strength and complexity of wire bars, with the simple, light-penetrating form of a grid. Photographed by Fien Muller.
This year, Muller Van Severen has been named Maison&Objet’s Designer(s) of the Year 2023. The artists will be awarded their distinction during the show in Paris, September 7-11, 2023, where the duo will additionally present their “cocoon exhibition”—a unique dive into their imagination. Celebrating their honor, GRAY connected with the designers to ask them a few inspiring questions...
The FRAMES series is a sculptural lighting and mirror collection created from single plates of polished stainless steel, cut and folded to bridge the whimsical connection between reality and the imaginary. Photographed by Fien Muller.
1. What inspires you/your work?
Fien: It’s a very classic answer, but everyday life and working with Hannes inspires me the most. We have a non-stop dialogue, and by living and working together, we show each other things that strike us and challenge each other.
Hannes: Wholesale stores for specific trades such as shipbuilding, do-it-yourself stores, and factories that manufacture materials whose function is not immediately clear. In-between materials can be very inspiring because their function is not yet determined, or can be used for many different things.
2. What is your favorite trend currently happening in product/furniture design?
Fien: There is a nice energy at the moment, I think designers are free in their thinking lately. I think it’s a creative moment.
Hannes: In fact, I think there are fewer trends, but more individuality. I like that!
3. And what’s something classic that you feel will always stand the test of time?
Fien: That something good will come to the surface, that talent will find its way and will turn out well when you put enough work and dedication into it.
Hannes: That’s subjective and hard to explain. For me, an object should be made of solid materials with a decent finish. The object should have enough identity and individuality and at the same time not be too intrusive. That’s a nice ratio. Proportions are also very important, not too big and not too small.
Arcs Mirror and Arcs Trolly are the newest additions to the Arcs collection designed by Muller Van Severen for HAY. Photograph courtesy HAY.
For more information on Muller Van Severen visit their website.
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For tickets and more information to Maison&Objet Paris, visit their website.