photo by Mirjam Devriendt
_Fien Muller & Hannes Van Severen
‘It was in early Spring 2011 that Muller Van Severen was born, a creative collaboration that gave rise to a furniture collection by the Belgian duo that is Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen. Presented in valerie_traan gallery in Antwerp, one might have assumed that the confident debut pieces were the end result of a prolonged period of development and refinement. After all, why should the creation of furniture come naturally to a photographer (Fien) and a sculptor (Hannes)?
Remarkably, the designs in that show had come about in only two months. Fien had been invited to exhibit her photography and, as is customary at the gallery, was asked to bring along another artist. She invited Hannes to be part of the show and together they decided to work in a different medium from their usual. The couple, who met while studying at art school in Ghent, had until this moment been pursuing their individual directions with solo projects and exhibitions.
They had always talked about working on a project together, but hadn’t found the right opportunity or reason. They fell into the world of furniture almost by accident and perhaps more out of necessity than anything else – at that time, they were in the throws of renovating their house and were in need of several things, including a light above their kitchen table. One of their first solutions was to design a table with the table-leg extending and merging into a cantilever lamp. Their design language then evolved very quickly, and the duo thrived with the supposed freedom of a design brief, somewhat new to both of them…
Max Fraser for “book”, 2014
Landscapes for living
With both Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen being artists, it’s natural that the collection sits somewhere between design and art. The couple has been on an inspired quest for sculpturally interesting furniture objects, always including the space around it, and characterized by a careful research into their shared passion for art, architecture and materials. At the same time Muller Van Severen’s designs appear to be created almost intuitively and with total effortlessness. It looks as if the designers draw with crayons in space.
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.