The son of an abstract painter, designer Maarten Van Severen began studying architecture at the Sint-Lucas Art Academy in Ghent, Belgium, before following his love of furniture design. By 1990 he began to collaborate closely with Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, working on two houses in France, the famous Maison á Bordeaux and Villa dall'Ava. In 1996 he began a collaboration with Swiss furniture group Vitra and produced works including the MVS Chaise and the Kast storage unit, as well as works for Kartell including the LCP lounge chair. The beginning of his collaboration with Vitra marked a new phase in his career. It offered him the opportunity to work with new materials and also brought a much wider degree of exposure and influence. Until his death in 2005, Maarten Van Severen developed a range of new designs for Vitra which have progressively entered series production.
The Maarten Van Severen Foundation was established in the spring of 2008 by family and friends of the designer. Based in Ghent, Belgium, where Maarten Van Severen's work began, the role of the foundation is to manage his artistic legacy through publishing, exhibition and a data bank open to the public through the City Archives of Ghent. The accompanying short film goes inside his studio, complete with rambling gardens and chooks, to meet a man with a truly inquisitive love of design and constantly questioning what we design and why. This year the documentary 'Maarten Van Severen. Addicted to every possibility' was released at the Milan Furniture Fair. Here is the film preview.