Total Design: Vincent Van Duysen

Total Design: Vincent Van Duysen

Sarah Coffey
Jun 11, 2008

Lately we've noticed an influx of young architects embracing total design: the concept that every part of a space should be considered and controlled, from a home's natural light to the spoons inside the drawers. Total designers are people who have their hand in a little bit of everything; they might simultaneously make furniture and plan whole cities. Yesterday we posted a home by hyper-designers Claesson Koivisto Rune, and today we're looking at another talented firm that makes houses, room plans, and pots for the kitchen table: Vincent Van Duysen...

Located in Belgium, Vincent Van Duysen's firm sticks to simple, natural designs. According to retailer When Objects Work, Van Duysen's "search for order and clarity produces designs which are both contemporary and innovative, but which have the force of perfect inevitability, setting off resonances that feel like memories: always new, but reminding us of things we have known."

While architects and designers from Marcel Breuer to Florence Knoll have long practiced total design, Van Duysen and the new generation of architects are very interested in handmade, natural materials, which brings the idea of total design to a whole new level. Van Duysen's ceramic bowls, for example, are crafted by hand with a rough-hewn oak lid.

We're not sure whether we're way off or right on in our hunch about the (re)turn to total design, but we've been having fun geeking out on it. (For more info on total design, check out the writings of Mark Wigley and Florence Knoll.)

Top Photo: VB-VH Residence, Photo by Koen van Damme

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