Van Duysen got his start as an assistant to Aldo Cibic in the legendary Milan studio of Ettore Sottsass. In 1990, he went on to establish his own studio in Antwerp, Belgium. He comes from the long and rarefied line of architects who refuse to concentrate only on the shell and also project a sense of living that is as much inside as outside. Van Duysen calls it the “art of living,” and he’s done much to refine that art in industrial design, having created everything from slender outdoor furniture and earthenware containers to Swarovski crystal chandeliers. His architecture is more purist than minimal, and an exhaustive sweep of it can be seen in a new monograph, Vincent Van Duysen: Complete Works (Thames & Hudson), which is out this May. Also this spring, his studio will show several new product designs at the Milan Furniture Fair, including a cupboard system and bathroom furniture. And in September, the Antwerp youth hostel he designed is set to open. It’s hardly a surprise that Van Duysen is friends with fellow Antwerpian and purist of fashion Raf Simons. The two recently spoke about what minimalism means to them as well as the kinds of houses they really want to call home.
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