Zen philosophy of Michael Verheyden

“Every Belgian is born with a brick in his stomach”
February 13, 2014

Very soon in our showroom there will be a collection of accessories of cult Belgian brand Michael Verheyden, but today You can already make an order!

“Every Belgian is born with a brick in his stomach,” Michael Verheyden says. “It means that every Belgian wants to own his own home,” Verheyden’s wife, Saartje Vereecke, explains. Six years ago, the couple fulfilled their Belgian dream when they acquired and remodeled the modest brick house that now serves as their home and design studio. But when they set about furnishing the space, they ran into a common problem. “We of course wanted to decorate in a nice way, but we didn’t have the budget,” Verheyden says. “My wife and I are very picky, not so easily happy with things. So we thought, If we design it all ourselves and have people we know produce it, we can have the perfect pieces without any compromises.”
“I am not into complicated forms,” Verheyden declares later, as he takes me on a tour of his studio. Simple cylinders, round bowls and rectilinear tables and chairs recall John Pawson or Donald Judd, but his objects are rescued from total minimalism by his adeptness with materials. His deceptively simple forms have an uncanny ability to bring forth the singular beauty of a vein in a marble tray or the subtle patina of a bronze vase. “If you work with a material long enough, it will tell you the form it should take,” he says. And apparently Verheyden is a good listener; his sensual objects demand to be touched — you can’t help but want to feel the weight of a brass tray. “For some people, my work is a bit severe,” he admits, “but the materials make it lively.”

His aim when he creates a piece is to impart a bit of that feeling of serenity and transcendence. “I hope that people are slowing down when they are using my designs,” he explains. “We’re living today at a very high speed, reading e-mails every five minutes and traveling the whole world, but to be able to do this you need to slow down and create your own rituals. We need to feel grounded again. So the materials I choose, by looking at them and touching them, I hope they can work in some kind of healing way.” He laughs, adding quickly, “I’m not a New Age-y guy, but it’s something I strive for, to be very Zen.”