ARTIST IN RES­I­DENCE

Fien Muller and Hannes Van Sev­eren are the cre­ative cou­ple be­hind Bel­gian fur­ni­ture de­sign stu­dio Muller Van Sev­eren

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Meet the cre­ative cou­ple be­hind Bel­gian fur­ni­ture de­sign stu­dio Muller Van Sev­eren

THE SAY­ING OP­PO­SITES AT­TRACT cer­tainly rings true for Bel­gian cre­ative cou­ple Fien Muller and Hannes Van Sev­eren. Fien is a pho­tog­ra­pher from a fam­ily of antique col­lec­tors. Hannes, a sculp­tor, comes from a pres­ti­gious line of pain­ters and de­sign­ers. She has a knack for mak­ing odd el­e­ments feel har­mo­nious; he turns the fa­mil­iar into the ab­surd. To­gether, they are Muller

Van Sev­eren, a fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion of multi-use book­cases, chairs, ta­bles and lamps that tread the line be­tween func­tional de­sign and art. Made from in­dus­trial ma­te­ri­als in shades in­spired by colour-coded chop­ping boards, the fur­ni­ture be­gan as an ex­per­i­ment, but has ce­mented their place in both the de­sign and art worlds. Hannes ad­mits there’s a hint of wit about their min­i­mal­ist col­lec­tions. “I like giv­ing ev­ery­day ob­jects a lit­tle twist so they be­come strange. Our work has straight lines, but what hap­pens within those lines is play­ful.” Their home, just out­side of Ghent in Bel­gium, has lots of space for their two daugh­ters, along with a shed that they turned into a workshop. “We’ve man­aged to cre­ate our own lit­tle world,” Hannes says. “It’s the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of the stu­dio and house. Of work and life. A place to sketch out and test ideas and grow as a fam­ily.” The cou­ple rel­ish the process of weld­ing the pro­to­types (it’s just like sculpt­ing) and past de­signs fur­nish their home, which Hannes ren­o­vated be­fore they moved in. Each room is dec­o­rated with artworks made by loved ones, like a vis­ual history of the cou­ple’s fam­ily and friend­ships, and is fur­ther ev­i­dence that great de­sign runs through their DNA. Not lim­ited to large fur­ni­ture pieces, they’re set­ting their sights on cre­at­ing new ob­jects – a cut­lery set and salt and pep­per mills that marry the ev­ery­day with the sculp­tural. A per­fect match, you might say.

Liv­ing land­scape The cou­ple’s home is curated with their de­signs. The stain­less steel Wire S chaise was a project de­signed for Of­fice KGDVS.

Bold and bright Pot plants and colour liven up the en­trance. The cou­ple de­signed the mar­ble box, while the bench came from a fam­ily friend.Wel­come sign Above a Muller Van Sev­eren chair is a sculp­ture Hannes made from mixed lam­i­nated ma­te­ri­als.

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