Maarten van Severen (°Antwerp, June 5th, 1956 – Ghent, 21 February 21st, 2005) was a Belgian furniture designer.
The son of an abstract painter, Maarten van Severen chose to study architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Ghent). He completed three years before going to work in various agencies on interior design and furniture projects, then in 1986 started to make furniture. The first piece, a long and slender steel table, has since been recreated as an aluminum model, which has been further refined over the years.
In 1989 he produced his first wooden table; long, slim and pure in form. In 1990 he turned his attention to chairs. His work, hand-produced in his workshop in Ghent, reflects his quest for perfection in form, detail and fabrication. Maarten worked in a variety of different materials: aluminium and ply to bakelite and polyester.
Van Severen was also frequently commissioned as a decorator and furniture designer for private residence projects, teamed with Rem Koolhaas. They worked together on the Villa dall’Ava in 1990, then again in Bordeaux in 1996 (Maison ‡ Floirac, OMA). He has also created exhibition stands of steel shelving for use at shows and trade fairs.
Since 1997 he is involved in industrial productions for Target Lighting (U-Line lamp), Obumex (kitchen), Vitra (chair .03), Edra (Blue Bench), BULO (Schraag). His initial work is still manufactured by aiki (formerly tm/top mouton) in Belgium today. Since 1999 there has been an intense collaboration in further developing his furniture.