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Maarten Van Severen

Maarten Van Severen (* 1956 in Antwerp, Belgium; † 2005 in Ghent, Belgium), studied architecture at the Sint-Lucas Art Academy in Ghent, Belgium. He designed his first furniture pieces in 1986 and in the following year established an independent workshop, where he pursued the limited, semi-industrial production of his own furniture designs. This unified process of design and production was a fundamental aspect of his work over a long period of time, in which he devoted himself to the examination of basic furniture types: chair, table, chaise longue, shelving, cabinet. He developed primary solutions for these categories based on a comprehensive exploration of the questions of form, material and construction. Beginning in 1990, Maarten Van Severen began to collaborate closely with Rem Koolhaas and also turned his attention to interior design tasks. During this period he also assumed teaching positions at a variety of institutions, including University College West Flanders in Kortrijk (1996), the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht (1996-97), Delft University of Technology (1998) and universities in Helsinki and Barcelona. The beginning of his collaboration with Vitra in 1996 marked a new phase in his career, not least because it offered him the opportunity to work with new materials and production processes. The most important and successful piece from Van Severen's time with Vitra is his chair .03. Additionally, Van Severen's work with Vitra brought him more exposure and lead to collaborations with other important producers, for example his lounger LCP for Kartell. His relationship with Vitra remained, however, the most important and Van Severen's last designs for the company, including .03 and .05, were presented in Milan two months after his untimely death.

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5 New Design Exhibitions for September 2014

...Presenting objects, sketches, photographs and texts Le Labo des héritiers investigates such questions in the context of Gijs Bakker/Emmy van Leersum and their son Aldo Bakker; Pieter, Lowie, Tinus and Robin Vermeersch and their father Rik and grandfather José; Tobia Scarpa and his father Carlo Scarpa; and David Van Severen and his brother Hannes, the children of Maarten Van Severen and grandsons of the Belgian abstract painter Dan Van Severen...

Milan 2012: Belgium is Design

We bow to no man in our admiration for the people of Belgium. Not only have they common sense to make chips their national dish, but they have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that politicians are no pre-requisite for a functioning state in 21st century...

Passenger Terminal Expo 2012: Pascal Berberat, Vitra Airport Division

...In addition to specifically created products such as the Airline Series from Sir Norman Foster, you also offer various Vitra classics from, for example, Maarten Van Severen as airport seating...

Vitra Design Museum: The Essence of Things. Design and the Art of Reduction

The (smow)blog team outing to the cardboard furniture workshop was coupled with a visit to the current Vitra Design Museum Exhibition: The Essence of Things. Design and the Art of Reduction. We must admit to finding it more than a little ironic that an...

(smow)offline: The best little warehouse in Texas ... or #Leipzig

The last couple of days have seen an endless stream of emails into the (smow)blog bunker asking if we are OK. And if we're OK, why aren't we posting anything? Can't we be bothered? Are we bored? Have we finally be rumbled by the (smow)boss? Far from it, the...

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