A design is only finished once it surprises me. Then I'm convninced that it will work.
Maarten Van Severen
Maarten van Severen 1956–2005
Maarten Van Severen was a celebrated contemporary designer from Belgium. The son of abstract painter Dan Van Severen, his creative upbringing encouraged him to study architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. After three years in school he began to design furniture in 1986 then the following year established his own studio. Van Severen devoted himself to perfecting the proportion, detail, and fabrication of basic furniture forms. He worked with materials that he loved including aluminum, plywood, steel, Bakelite, and leather to create simplified designs.
Van Severen enjoyed a successful career across a spectrum of industries and collaborations. His furniture designs were first exhibited in 1988 and continued to be shown around the world. In the latter half of the 1990s, he held teaching positions at institutions including the University College West Flanders in Kortrijk, the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht, and the Delft University of Technology among others. He also collaborated with fellow architect Rem Koolhaas on several residential projects in France as well as the new Seattle Public Library and Casa da Musica, Portugal.