Open door policy: Inside Maarten Deceulaer’s studio

The world of designers can sometimes be an intriguing one. One that, for one reason or the other, draws you in and makes you want to know more. How, you wonder, do they get to the end result? How do they actually do what they do? And where do they do it? What do their studios look like? What tools and machinery do they work with? Are their office walls covered with scribbled-on post-its and patent applications or are their more the folders classified alphabetically on their iMacs type? We visit four Belgian designers’ studios and discover a world not that much different than what we had imagined – sketches and unfinished prototypes lying about, all types of materials at arms’ reach and, most importantly, an FM radio. Here, we begin with Maarten Deceulaer.

Photographer Sarah Eechaut

“We’ve been in this space since last summer only. It’s a temporary thing since we have to move out by the end of November at latest unfortunately. We all got really attached to the space, even though rain drips in buckets spread out across the studio and in winter it is freezing cold. But the space ‘feels’ so nice. When it’s sunny there’s a terrific atmosphere in there. It’s a five-minute walk from my house, so for me the location couldn’t be better. The entire space is about 500-600m², and my ‘corner’ in it would be around 75m². I also quite like the neighbourhood, Place Bethlehem for example, is wonderful to have dinner at on summer evenings, there’s also one of the best pizzeria’s in the whole of Brussels. The building used to be a furniture factory that went bankrupt. We found the office in the same state as the previous owners left it, everything still quite intact, catalogues and unpaid bills everywhere, personal things like children’s’ drawings, unopened mail,…Collages of the furniture they produced, together with images from magazines were hanging on the walls, self-made shelving (which we are using now) everywhere. We have a very flexible studio, everything depends on the projects we’re working on. Sometimes there are three tables, sometimes only one.”

(This feature was first published in the blue album)