MULLER VAN SEVEREN:
AIRBNB - A WILD THING
To explore the notion of a shared home, Airbnb collaborated with some of the world’s most innovative designers. The Belgium design studio represented by Side Gallery were chosen to design their living room as an installation for the occasion of Design Miami 2017. The installation titled Wild Thing was designed as an exact replica of the couple’s living room at their home in Ghent. Inspired by the novel Wild Thing, for the couple a ‘wild thing’ is an everyday object that takes on an extra dimensionality well beyond functionality and form. Geometric furniture pieces such as the wire chaise lounge designed by the couple can be seen in the room, alongside other recognised pieces such as a wall light, both of which are exhibited and sold by Side Gallery.
"The installation titled Wild Thing was designed as an exact replica of the couple’s living room at their home in Ghent"
The eclectic combination of objects demonstrates the duo's instinctive feel for colour, material and form. Known for blending refined marble and brass with more humble elements such as aluminum, plastic and steel wire. Their choice of materials works in tandem with their uncanny knack for simplifying forms and finding a dialogue and sense of play between elements. The couple have since worked with Side Gallery to exclusively produce a multifunctional drinks cabinet come sideboard, the piece was shown at Design Miami in 2019 two years after the couples Airbnb installation. The lacquered blue steel drinks cabinet embodies both hybrid design and the couples desire to use integrally coloured materials, allowing colour to penetrate from within a piece.
Muller Van Severen was founded in the early Spring of 2011. With Fien Muller a trained photographer and Hannes Van Severen an artist, it’s natural that their work sits somewhere between design and art. The couple create sculpturally interesting furniture objects, which interact with the space around them, characterized by careful research into art, architecture and materials. The designers explore the boundaries between art and design through a constant search for new innovative ways to make furniture with a sensitivity for functionality and practicality. Their constructions entertain a dialogue of austerity in conjunction with extravagance, lightness and severity, delicacy and solidity. Their fascinating world is based on their study of materials, their sense of color and proportions, as well as their apprehension of architecture
Materiality is another element that defines the work of the Belgium designers, materials often being the starting point of their designs. Striving to showcase the natural beauty of their chosen materials, they let the materials speak for themselves. Their objects reflect a deep appreciation of the materials they use to create their pieces. When it comes to colour, they prefer to use integrally coloured materials, in which colour penetrates to the very core of the object, if applying paint, they do so in textured layers, lending the designs a natural radiance.
One of the design duos first collections, Landscapes for Living symbolized their philosophy to “create is to live”. The collection of multi-functional furniture pieces embodied soulful design. Their works are created to come to life with the human form playing an essential part in the design; their book shelf “model writing desk”, for example comes life when the furniture’s second function is revealed, the piece becomes a bench, writing desk and shelf rather than simply the latter.
After winning countless awards and collaborating with prestigious museums (such as Vitra Museum, Centre Pompidou and Musée d'Art Decorative Paris) and galleries (Galerie Kreo, Side Gallery, Valerie Traan Gallery) worldwide, Muller Van Severen is considered to be one of the most image-defining European design teams of today. Their creations are globally identified in both private homes and public spaces. All of Muller Van Severens own production pieces are handmade by small-scale fabricators and skilled artisans, with an honesty to the rawness and irregularity of the chosen material.