Muller Van Severen design a playful furniture installation for Browns East
Luxury boutique Browns opened a new Brinkworth-designed outpost in east London last October, a space which marked the renowned retailers first brick-and-mortar expansion in 20 years. Browns East is characterised by its ability to constantly evolve. With an interior comprised of moveable modules, it boasts open areas which beckon for curated installations and takeovers, by collaborators spanning not just the field of fashion, but also art and design.
Browns East’s entrance space marks one such spot, and it has already housed an installation of Travis Scott’s ten-piece Ksubi collaboration and a sustainable Vetements Christmas tree made from recycled socks. Now, in its continuing foray into the field of design, Browns has teamed up with Wallpaper* favourites Muller Van Severen – the Belgian duo who we collaborated with for Handmade 2015 – on a playful installation made up of its idiosyncratically interactive and colourful furniture and objects.
Muller Van Severen are renowned for a playful and interactive approach to design
‘We wanted to create an ambience similar to our studio, explains co-founder Fien Muller, of the installation’s set up. Made up of purchasable existing pieces, it features jagged cutting boards, colourful seating and minimalist standing lamps, which are all part of Muller Van Severen’s collection for Antwerp label Valerie Objects. ‘When we work with a gallery we always make compositions with new objects,’ she adds. ‘Working with Browns East, it was interesting to rethink how to present some of the pieces we’ve designed already, and to use them as tools to make something different.’
For their installation Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen have honed an image which uses their furniture objects as art tools: cutting boards making up its ‘background’ and curving standing lamps acting as ‘lines on a drawing.’ The duo are renowned for their witty design approach, creating pieces which promote interaction, participation and a variety of functions: a cutting board, which is both a wall sculpture and a functional utensil, 2011’s ‘duo seat + lamp’; a minimalist metal frame design culminating in a standing lamp and soft leather chairs, 2012’s ’rack + seat’; made up of soft deckchair-like seats and stacks of colourful plastic shelving.
‘I think this interactive element is a natural consequence of working as a duo,’ Muller explains. ‘We’re always exploring a dialogue about what an object can be.’ Not just sparking a visual exchange between the installation itself and a retail space, Muller Van Severen’s collaboration also spearheads new conversation between Browns East and its evolution into the realms of design. How’s that for making an entrance?§