Maarten Van Severen (1956-2005)

2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Maarten Van Severen’s death, which is why The Maarten Van Severen Foundation and the Department of Design of KASK / School of Arts Ghent have decided to establish a chair with the aim of conveying the relevance and significance of the designer’s work for today’s designers. Every year a leading designer, whose work has an affinity with the work of Maarten Van Severen, will give two lectures and a masterclass. He or she will reflect on the common ground between their work and that of Maarten van Severen and on the qualities of his work in light of the current design culture.

open / close all
09 – 13.03.20
Masterclass Glenn Martens Zwarte Zaal

Glenn Martens will host a masterclass for design students at KASK. If you or your school wish to take part, please contact

11.03.2020 — 19:30
Lecture Glenn Martens / MVSC05 MIRYconcertzaal

English spoken 
Tickets 7 euro / 5 euro (student)  

Glenn Martens studied fashion at the The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In 2008, during his final year show at the academy, he was recruited to join the team of Jean-Paul Gaultier. In 2013 he took over the creative direction of the Parisian brand Y/PROJECT.  In June 2017, Y/PROJECT won the esteemed ANDAM Grand Prize, one of the most respected recognitions in fashion worldwide. In September 2017, Glenn Martens was selected as one of the Business of Fashion’s 500 people shaping fashion globally today.

05 – 07.03.2019
Masterclass Francesca Torzo Campus Bijloke, Zwarte Zaal

Francesca Torzo will teach a masterclass from 5 till 7 March on the Bijloke Campus. The participating students have been selected from five European art schools: Aalto University, Berlin University of the Arts, ENSAV La Cambre, Design Academy Eindhoven, Royal College of Art, London.

06.03.19 — 19:30
Lecture Francesca Torzo / MVSC04 MIRY Concertzaal

Tickets 7 euro / 5 euro (students)
English spoken

Francesca Torzo (1975) is an Italian architect-maker; an architect who creates architecture in a sensory way. She studied architecture in Delft, Barcelona, Mendrisio and Venice [IUAV]. She worked for architect Peter Zumthor and Bosshard Vaquerarchitekten, Zurich. In 2008 she started her own architectural practice in Genoa. She designed and built – to name a Belgian project – the recent expansion and renovation of Z33 in Hasselt.

Introduction by Jan Boelen (Z33).

28.02.18 — 20:00
Lecture Aldo Bakker / MVSC03 — On Sensuality and Perfection MIRY Concert Hall

Tickets 7 / 5 (students) euro

Book tickets

English spoken
“What keeps driving me back to Maarten’s designs is his dedication to purity, which I greet with the greatest admiration and some moments of doubt. Ever since I first saw his works exhibited in Amsterdam in the late nineties I feel a kinship with his treatment of the object. My earliest attempts at making furniture mused on the same orthogonal shapes that made Maarten’s work iconic. As I progressed towards a more organic vocabulary our formal languages may have grown apart, but in essence we explore the same thing: how materials can be forced to answer demands beyond their natural properties. During the lecture, I will further examine the following topics: Archetypes, New forms, Humour, Sensuality, Silence, Performance.”
—Aldo Bakker

28.02.18 — 18:00
Book launch Cahier MVSC02 Alfredo Haeberli Design museum Gent

Each chair edition is accompanied by a booklet published by Art Paper Editions (19 euro). The first edition, by Erwan Bouroullec, is for sale at The second edition, by Alfredo Haeberli, will be launched on 28 february 2018 at 18:00 at Design museum Gent. From then on it will be accesible in the webshop as well.

06 – 08.12.2016
Masterclass Alfredo Häberli Kask

Alfredo Häberli will host a three day masterclass for design students of KASK/School of Arts Ghent, ENSAV – La Cambre, Design Academy Eindhoven, Aalto University and Universität der Künste Berlin. The Master Class will take place at KASK in Ghent. If you or your school wish(es) to participate, please contact

Lecture Alfredo Häberli MIRY Concertzaal

Alfredo Häberli was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1964. He moved to Switzerland in 1977 and graduated in 1991 with distinction in Industrial Design at the Höhere Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich. Today, he is an internationally established designer based in Zurich and working for some of the leading companies of the international design industry such as Alias, BD Barcelona, BMW, Camper, FSB, Georg Jensen, Iittala, Kvadrat, Luceplan, Moroso, Schiffini and Vitra. He manages to unite tradition with innovation, joy and energy in his designs and his work is strongly influenced by his early childhood in Argentina as well as his curiousness and studies in everyday life. The results are works with a strong expression and emotionality. In his lecture Alfredo Häberli will reflect on his own work as well as on the common ground between his work and that of Maarten van Severen.

Tickets: 7 / 5 (students) euro

Reserve tickets here, pay at the entrance  

MIRY Concertzaal, Biezekapelstraat, Ghent, Belgium.

14 – 23.10.2016
Exhibition and Book launch Biennale Interieur 2016 Kortrijk

Erwan Bouroullec gave the first MVSC lectures for more than 700 attendants and the following week he guided 15 students from 5 different art schools into the wild, -the title of his workshop.

Because the essence of the workshop was rather the process than any kind of final product, Erwan and his birds, -that is the name he gave his students-, decided to continue the workshop until the summer. On regular moments they uploaded images of their process, on the MVSC blog. The result is a fascinated collection of things, created out of the wild, which we proudly present as the first MVSC Cahier and Exhibition at the Biennale Interieur 2016

The cahier is designed by Studio Jurgen Maelfeyt and published with Art Paper Editions. It is of limited edition and will be on sale at the stand of MVSC at the Biennale Interieur 2016. It will be launched there officially in the presence of Erwan Bouroullec on friday 21 october at 18:00. Pre-orders can be placed online at

Expo Maarten Van Severen & Co. About designers, artists and makers Design museum Gent

The new contemporary design display at the Ghent Design Museum makes clear what designing meant to Maarten Van Severen (1956-2005). Across generations and nationalities, the presentation relates his designs with the work of others: designers, architects and artists whose oeuvres inspired him or reveal a kinship. It illuminates aspects of design that are still relevant to today’s designers.

Maarten Van Severen was not a desktop designer who left the realization of his ideas to others. He was a ‘maker’, in touch with the particularities and possibilities of different materials, who investigated the ‘makeability’ of things through trial and error. His crystallized formal idiom was closely connected to his faultless sense of proportions, e.g. in determining the thickness of a shelf. Also unmistakeable, specifically in terms of spatial impact and choice of materials, is his affinity with minimal art. ‘My work is situated in between the usable piece of furniture and the unusable object,’ Van Severen claimed. His furniture were ‘mental objects’, realizations of images in his head. Unsurprisingly then, Maarten Van Severen was fascinated by the most diverse topics from various cultures, places and times: objects, types of furniture, materials, tools, human posture, light, patterns, textures. The many photos from his archives and the books and souvenirs on display in the exhibition reveal the wealth of the sources at his fingertips.

The exhibition is designed as a changing presentation that allows for new topics in the coming years. The scenography was designed by Robbrecht and Daem architects.
Open tuesday to sunday, 10:00 – 18:00, closed on mondays
Tickets 10 / 8 / 2 / 0
More info:

01.12.15 — 20:00
Lecture Erwan Bouroullec Cirque

In the Cirque auditorium on the Bijloke campus, Erwan Bouroullec and a smaller group of participants take a closer look at some aspects of the Bouroullecs’ work. Referring to the Van Severen archives that are kept in the Zwarte Doos (Municipal Archives of Ghent), he shows how their work is related to Maarten Van Severen’s, with a focus on the experimental use of materials. This second lecture is the start of a three-day masterclass for a group of student duos from Aalto University, Universität der Künste Berlin, ENSAV – La Cambre, KASK / School of Arts Gent and Design Academy Eindhoven.

7 / 5 (students)

19.11.15 — 20:00
Lecture Erwan Bouroullec MIRY Concert Hall

The Bouroullecs have been working as designers since the late Nineties. Like Maarten Van Severen they have a long-standing partnership with the Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra, resulting in such designs as the Joyn office system (2002), the Alcove Sofa (2007) and the Vegetal Chair (2009). Despite the generation gap their work undeniably has elements in common with that of Maarten Van Severen, not in the least because of the directness of their formal language but also for example because of their fondness for “nomadic” furniture (in the sense of movable furniture as a defining characteristic of a space), their preference for modular systems or their affinity with industrial and artisanal production processes. During this lecture, Erwan Bouroullec will speak about the Bouroullecs own work.

7 / 5 (students)


The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) and the Royal Conservatory constitute the School of Arts of University College Ghent. The mission statement of the school defines its main tasks: development of the arts, education and research in an international perspective. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the fields of visual and audiovisual arts, design, music and drama. The varied range of artistic makes for reciprocally inspiring and relatively open training programs. The KASK & Conservatory campuses are located at the epicenter of Ghent.

The Maarten Van Severen Foundation was established in 2009 by family and friends of designer Maarten Van Severen (1956-2005). Following his wish shortly before his death, the Foundation manages his artistic legacy. It operates from Ghent, where the Maarten Van Severen oeuvre largely came into being.

As a unique design museum in Belgium the Design museum Gent wants to be an international meeting place for amateurs, researchers, designers and producers of modern and contemporary design (from 1860 to the present). The museum holds a singular collection that it develops into a unique whole. The collection forms the basis for the internationally focused exhibition programme that thematically investigates recent developments and historical evolutions.

Lensvelt is producer of a substantial part of the collection of the Flemish designer Maarten Van Severen (1956 – 2005). His pieces are renowned and appreciated all over the world because of their unique materials, quality and finish. Van Severen was a personal friend of Hans Lensvelt.


Each chair edition will be accompanied by a booklet published by Art Paper Editions. Order online at


Erwan Bouroullec
Alfredo Häberli
Aldo Bakker
Francesca Torzo