Maarten Van Severen – Addicted to every possibility
“I liked Maarten very much. I had a powerful bond with him. His passion really was his work as a designer and as an artist. His approach to that work was extremely conscientious. Absolutely uncompromising. Doing something ten times over – coming up with ten alternatives – was better than settling for something that wasn’t perfect.
What makes Maarten’s collection so special is his use of materials for specific applications that no one had thought of before. And not just one material.
It could be bakelite or saddle leather or another type of leather – or aluminium or wood or steel. Whatever it was, he always managed to get out of a material all that was conceivably possible.
I’ve included the collection in our product line because I think the aesthetic quality of these designs is incredibly good. I think they’re beautiful, and my personal definition of ‘beautiful’ is ‘in proportion’. Everything in the collection is precisely proportioned.
We were real buddies. True friends. It’s good to have a chance to do something like this. He died far too young, of course. Because of that, we’re unable to see and experience the many designs that he definitely would have made had he lived longer. It’s indescribably sad.
I am grateful for the beautiful work Chris van Duijn of OMA did for the relaunch of the Maarten Van Severen Collection. It was very special to work with Chris again. He did an amazing job. I also want to thank Marij De Brabandere and the Maarten Van Severen Foundation for the friendship, the good vibes and the great support.
I hope together we can conserve some of the beauty Maarten created – and pass it on to the next generation.”
Maarten Van Severen flanked by Hans Lensvelt (right) and Chris van Duijn from OMA architects (left), working together on a shelving system for books at Seattle Central Library (March 2004).
Hans Lensvelt Amsterdam, March 2014
Download the book here: Maarten Van Severen-Addicted to every possibility.