Remembering Maarten Van Severen


An event devoted to the life and work of Maarten Van Severen, the late, great Belgian furniture designer. His life cut short by cancer at the age of 48, Van severen left behind an extraordinary collection of furniture and several important architectural projects. Van Severen devoted himself to the rigorous exploration of basic furniture typologies and in the process developed a formal language of uncompromising simplicity and beauty.
Maarten Van Severen. Werken – Work
Terenja Van Dijk, 2004, 32 min
Made in what would be the last year of his life, this short film captures the spirit that made Maarten Van Severen one of the the most interesting and influential designers of recent times. Through conversations with Van Severen in his studio, and visits to some of his most important projects, we get a sense of the way he thought, lived, collected, and designed.

The .03 Chair
Pain Perdu Productions, 2010, 25min
Maarten Van Severen’s .03 chair is an icon of 20th-century design. This film, produced by the Maarten Van Severen foundation for an exhibition devoted to the .03 chair, takes us through the stages of the chair’s life, from the designer’s first attempts to create “his chair, the chair” in his own workshop through to collaborations with design and manufacturing companies Top-Mouton (now Aiki). The emergence of the .03 chair took more than a decade, from 1986, when Van Severen designed his first chair, to Vitra’s mass-produced .03 chair in 1999.

The screening is co-presented by the William H. Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lecture Series at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s the sixth screening in our monthly Image, Building, Object: Exploring Architecture and Design on Film series. Bringing an eclectic selection of documentaries, features, and vignettes to Black Cinema House, the series demystifies the process of how our objects, furniture, and buildings come into existence and simultaneously reveals how designers and architects have used film as a medium for expression and experimentation.

Remembering Maarten Van Severen
Presented by Casey Lurie, Designer

Black Cinema House
6901 S. Dorchester Ave.