Future Primitives by Muller Van Severen
Interieur 2012: soft leather seats hang between the colourful plastic shelves of this furniture by Belgian design duo Muller Van Severen presented at the Interieur design biennale in Kortrijk, Belgium, last week (+ slideshow).
The collection includes shelving units in various heights and configurations, some with seats draped like deckchairs inserted into their frames, as well as standing and hanging lamps and separate chairs and loungers.
Responding to the theme of Future Primitives set by Interieur, the designers began with what they saw as primitive forms and basic material, and updated them for the future by combining different functions. The resulting objects are intended to be "timeless", they said.
The designers selected materials they felt were strong and simple, such as tubular steel and leather.
"We chose the materials because we think they are very pure," designer Fien Muller told Dezeen. "The leather is very natural [and] also the steel tubes are not painted because we like the light in it. When you paint it that's gone."
The shelves are made from polyethylene plates used in the catering industry for food hygiene purposes. "All the colours are made for one food, for example yellow is for poultry, blue is for fish, green is for vegetables," said Muller.
"We used all the colours you can have of that material, but it's again the combination of the colours that makes it special," she added.
The slim black frames splashed with colour recall furniture from the de Stijl movement, such as Gerrit Rietveld's 1923 Red Blue Chair.
Muller Van Severen is a furniture project launched by photographer Fien Muller and artist Hannes Van Severen in 2011.
Other installations in the Future Primitives series we've featured include Greg Lynn's prototype of a rotating cocoon for compact living and an aerodynamic concept vehicle by Ross Lovegrove.
See all our stories about furniture »
See all our stories from Interieur 2012 »
Photographs are by Frederik Vercruysse.
Here's some more information from the designers:
We are Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen and we are both active as visual artists. We see our collaboration as outside the field of visual arts and describe it as a 'furniture project'. That collaboration started only two years ago; we called it Muller Van Severen.
For Interieur 2012 we were selected for the Future Primitives series. For us, Future Primitives means starting from basic materials and their basic measurements (like plates and profiles that already exist). In that sense it is something very primitive – the primitive side is about FORM. The future side of this story is more about FUNCTION, mostly the combination of functions. It is future-oriented thinking in a primitive form! For us, Future Primitives is something timeless because it is something that could just as well have existed in the past as it can function in the future.