Maarten Van Severen
The son of an abstract painter, Maarten Van Severen chose to study architecture at Ghent Art School. He completed three years before going to work in various agencies on interior design and furniture projects. In 1986, he turned his attention to furniture, namely tables, first using steel as a medium, then wood. His work, hand-produced in his workshop in Ghent, Belgium, reflects his quest for perfection in form, detail and fabrication. A man who loved materials, Maarten van Severen, who died in 2005, of lung cancer at the age of 49, was a designer par excellence. Some regard his furniture as an acquired taste. To others, it is mold-breaking, a revelation of simplicity that, to the uninitiated eye, belies the integrity, precision and perfection that goes into it. Van Severen always worked in tandem with producers but â€“ with the help of two of his sons, David, an architect, and Hannes, a sculptor, who worked with their father â€“ the company is determined to keep his spirit and vision alive, ensuring that his work isn't compromised.