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Ph. Fred Debrock
22.09.22

A talk with Vincent Van Duysen

Photography by Fred Debrock, Frederik Vercruysse

We’re glad to announce that Vincent Van Duysen has officially joined the Mutina team, with the launch of three new collections that will be presented on the occasion of Cersaie 2022, from September 26th to 30th.

We’re glad to announce that Vincent Van Duysen has officially joined the Mutina team, with the launch of three new collections that will be presented on the occasion of Cersaie 2022, from September 26th to 30th.

After working with Aldo Cibic and Jean De Meulder, in 1989 Van Duysen established Vincent Van Duysen Architects. Today, the firm has grown into a team of 30 collaborators with work ranging from product design for numerous international brands, to commercial and large-scale architectural projects, with a focus on high-end residences both in Belgium or spread across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA.
From the outset, a definite relationship between architecture, interior and product design has been the driving force behind the conception of projects inspired by subtle transitions between these disciplines and combined with a spatial design attitude, constantly striving for the essence. 
The use of pure and tactile materials translates into clean, timeless design. With respect to context and tradition, it’s an approach within which the senses, and the physical experience of space, textures and light place the integrity of the user at its core. Functionality, durability and comfort are the prime components of the work, an architectural language not shy to convey aesthetics, but prone to eschew fashion and trends. 
In 2016, Van Duysen was appointed as creative director of Italian brands Molteni&C and Dada. From 2018 to May 2020, he covered the role of art director at Sahco for Kvadrat, after which he has been collaborating as a senior designer.

We decided to celebrate this brand new collaboration with a special Talk, speaking about Van Duysen’s personal approach and relation with ceramic, as well as giving you a few hints about these soon-to-be revealed ceramic projects.

A talk with Vincent Van Duysen

Do you remember the first time you got in touch with Mutina and how your relationship developed?

We’ve been knowing each other for quite some time and we have always maintained a friendly relationship over the years. Massimo and I share the same passion for art in general. That's what connects us. After all these years, we finally found the right moment to start collaborating. It came naturally, making the collections generous and representative of both our worlds.

What is your approach with an earthy matter such as ceramics?

Ceramic is a very tactile material for me, very sensual. It calls for touch but also for contemplation. One must always consider how light interacts with this material: it is a combination of natural elements. The texture of the ceramic is changing and reveals itself in a different way depending on the time of day. All these factors give you a wide range of creative possibilities.

Your collaboration with Mutina begun with three brand new projects: Kosei, Renga and Yama. What do you want to achieve, in terms of aesthetics and meaning, with Kosei?

For this collection, I wanted to go deeper into the history of patterns linked to the world of architecture. We developed several patterns that reveal themselves in different ways just by changing the colour of certain pieces. This gives us different readings of the collection. We can go from a very homogeneous look to a very rhythmic and graphic one. It's a very versatile collection, that comes close to the notions of different points of view that we can all have about architecture.

How does Renga fit into the main concept of architecture?

I wanted to bring more diversification in terms of volume and Renga has been built as a micro architecture. The module is intended to be multiplied like brick constructions. This makes it possible to create a great variety of forms within a space.

What about Yama, the new Mutina Edition? Where does it take inspiration from?

Yama refers to my passion for art – one of the many threads that bind me to Mutina –, but it has also been inspired by my attraction to the beauty of nature and its elements. The module focuses on the concept of reduction, reproducing the effect of a stone cut by man in five different phases.

Could you explain a little further what nature means to you on a deep level and how do you relate with it?

Some time ago, I started transcendental meditation. It helps me to connect to my own nature, my body and my mind, but also to the universe around me. The very nature of things inspires me a lot, because we have a lot to learn from it. This is a concept that I keep within me and that I try to transmit through my projects, whether it is through the materials I use or through the timelessness of my work.

“We’ve been knowing each other for quite some time and have always maintained a friendly relationship over the years. Mutina and I share the same passion for art, that's what connects us. After all these years, we finally found the right moment to start collaborating.”


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