VINCENT VAN DUYSEN
Recognised as the minimalist godfather, Belgium based architect, Vincent Van Duysen has spent his entire life creating beautifully simple designs, using pure and tactile materials to create timeless design. We spoke with the world-renowned designer about all things design and lifestyle:
When and what made you decide to become a designer?
My parents educated me across many different arts as a child – architecture, painting, theatre – and my father had incredibly intuitive artistic skills. These were the primary influences for my appreciation and understanding of beauty and, from a young age, fostered a natural talent for creativity. Also, within my parent’s circle of friends there was a professor from the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Ghent who explained to me that the enduring quality of architecture was that it covered so many aspects of all of the applied arts I had been exposed to.
How would you describe your unique style and aesthetic?
I love to work with layers and contrast to achieve a sort of warm sensuality. In that sense I’m not into minimalism. I rather have sober interiors with soul. On the other hand, it’s not always about a multitude of elements and materials. My attention goes out to a pureness in aesthetics that I discover and got inspired through my travels. In fact, inspiration comes naturally from travelling, conversations, exhibitions, people, everyday life.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working in a few private residences in USA, Portugal, France, Belgium and Italy. A Hotel and also service flats for elderly people in Antwerp, Belgium. Offices in London and Milan. I continue my collaboration with Molteni as creative director along with new product & furniture designs for many brands in Europe & USA. Lastly, I am planning to publish a sequel of my monograph “Complete works”.
What are the fundamentals of a Vincent Van Duysen design?
As I explained before, a balance between purity and content is needed. The richness of the space is elevated undoubtedly by exquisite details like velvety plaster finishes, parched wood textures, and misty hues.
Tell us about your personal residence?
My home is a constant inspiration for me. I worked with a very Belgian palette that combined roughly woven textures but also very neutral smooth surfaces such as plaster, wide popular floorboards, and Belgian Bluestone. I wanted to refer to the rich architectural history of the house but also to create a serene space in which modern art and furniture pieces could sit comfortably and feel timeless.
Who are you influenced by?
I am very influenced by modernist architects whose work was a cross-over of fluidity, sensuality, and material substance; Luis Barragán, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Dom Hans van der Laan, Peter Zumthor, Mies Van Der Rohe to name some.
Where is your all-time favourite destination?
Places I have particularly enjoyed visiting recently would be Morocco, Portugal, Argentina, Japan and the United States. I am very drawn to the spirit of life and it is something I like to see reflected in my work – it is also something I always search for in my travels.
Where would you like to go next?
I am going to spend New Years Eve in Uruguay.
For more information go to: www.vincentvanduysen.com