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Muller Van Severen and Airbnb Install a Living Room at Design Miami/Saturday 6 January 2018
Muller Van Severen and Airbnb Install a Living Room at Design Miami/ ⇒ At Design Miami/ 2017, designer duo Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen, of Muller Van Severen, illustrated the way objects and people interconnect by sharing the wild things that animate their own living room. Teaming up with Airbnb, the designers presented a replica of their home in Belgium, with all of its personal icons: a painting by Van Severen’s grandfather, a sculpture made by Muller’s father, the drawings of their children, the souvenirs and precious objects they collected throughout their life and the furniture they’ve designed. Muller Van Severen recreated their own living room for the event visitors, inviting them to be hosted in the space as guests, sit on the furniture, read books and listen to music. Simultaneously, their home in Belgium was shared on Airbnb.
The installation aimed to conjure an understanding of the designers’ family stories, daily routines, personal style and network of friends, creating the essence of home and homecoming in a public space. “Airbnb is committed to giving voice to a new generation of designers. With this installation, we also give voice to objects of beauty and design. The design, arrangement and mood of our homes, as well as the connections and experiences that occur within them, can represent our values and ourselves. As a platform, Airbnb empowers interactions between people who might never otherwise connect, cultivating an appreciation of place, resources and rituals”, said Andrew Speyer, Airbnb Regional Brand Marketing Director for the Americas.
Muller Van Severen’s team populated the replica with all of the couple’s furniture, which was shipped over. The result is an almost identical copy of the space, down to the light switches. The duo said they found the space slightly unnerving when they first walked in.”It’s very weird”, said Van Severen. “It’s like we travelled for hours and we’re back in our living room again”. “I’m glad it’s weird though because otherwise, it wouldn’t have been right”, added Muller. Features replicated in the booth included white walls and a wooden floor. Where the windows would be are lightboxes displaying the views of the home’s driveway and Muller Van Severen’s nearby studio, outside.
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There is more to the installation than meets the eye. Visitors discover more about the designers’ lives as they are guided by discreet, high-tech speakers that whisper their stories. These narratives give voice to the hidden lives of objects, what they mean and how they come together to create the essence of home and homecoming in a public space. Muller and Van Severen’s home at Design Miami/ conjures an understanding of their connection with their family, friends and the intangible beyond, fostering a feeling of acceptance and understanding through an intimate and welcoming space.
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