Exclusive Interview with Vincent Van Duysen
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Vincent Van Duysen was born in Lokeren, Belgium, in 1962. As soon as he was qualified as an architect in 1985, he started work in Milan with Aldo Cibic-Sottsass Associati. In 1990 he established his own architects’ studio in Antwerp.
At present Vincent Van Duysen Architects employs about 15 collaborators.
The multidisciplinary team performs a whole range of various assignments, not only in Belgium, but also in London, Milan, Paris, New York, Beirut and Saudi Arabia. These assignments consist of interiors, conversions and new buildings ; private houses, apartment complexes, office concepts and shop units. The underlying philosophy is the scrupulous attention for the individual perception of space.
Apart from these, the architect is also reknown for his smaller objects and furniture which he developed for amongst others B&B Italia, Swarovski, Bulo, Geiger/ Herman Miller, Paola Lenti and Viccarbe.
His work is often cited in prestigious publications and was subject of two monographs. The first one was published in 2001 by the Spanish GG Editorial and the second in 2011 by Thames&Hudson.
What does design mean for you? What is design in your life?
I don’t like the word ‘design’. It’s too imposing and doesn’t reflect the timelessness of my creations. The creative process is a big part of my life.
Please describe the changes in design over the last 20 years.
With regard to my career, there have been no abrupt changes. It’s all about the evolution of my creative thinking, it is a continuous process.
Which designers/architects have influenced your work the most?
Too many to mention. I’d rather say ‘people in general’ have influenced my work.
What item have you envied because of its design?
The person who invented the table, a chair, a stool, a bed – in its most authentic expression.
Do you believe that design assists in the creation of a “better” world?
I believe in sustainable creations, with respect for durable, authentic materials – ‘without time’.
Should design be more inexpensive or does it deserve to be paid for at a high price?
Design should be accessible for everyone.
What led you to become involved in design?
As an architect, I consider my furniture creations domestic architecture.
If you were not an architect/designer, what other profession would you have chosen?