Design – “The repetition of the aluminium tubes that recurs in all the objects forms a family that has the same genes but different characters.” Explain Belgian designers Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen. “ALLTUBES refers to the repetition of the material and the material itself.”
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The pattern and repetition of the round forms makes them appear less austere. This also produces the undulating effect and makes it possible for light to play on the surface. The combination of several of the same elements creates planes and gives the whole object a literal and figurative strength.
With the series of tube-ends at the top, the upper surface of the cabinets assumes a ‘charming’ aspect. Functions are created by means of the occasional simple bend such as for the legs of the bench. In the case of the chair, a tube forms one leg, a back or a seat in one smooth movement.
ALLTUBES comes with no visible hinges, handles or door openings; they dissolve or vanish optically in the joints between the round tubes. “This makes the cabinets more like volumes, some kind of mysterious plinth, stripped of its front, back and sides.”
It is only by extending the four corner tubes that these volumes are raised up off the floor and the tubes then become legs or supports that lighten up the whole object. They become freestanding objects in a room, characters in a setting.
“A new universe emerges from tubular constructions. The approach is always the same: start from an element to exploit its potential; see how far one can go with it.” Add the designers. “In the case of the cabinets, the repetitive rhythm of the pipes placed next to each other – causing undulations – makes you forget the coldness of the material. In the bench and the chair, bending the material softens its hardness.
All photos: courtesy of Valerie Traan gallery.