Muller Van Severen’s home in Ghent, Belgium/ Photo: Frederik Vercruysse

Airbnb/ A Wild Thing By Muller Van Severen

A home speaks without words, communicating silently through the things it contains and the invisible threads spun between them. Certain things have memories, histories, and stories that need to be told. They are alive. We like to call them “wild” based on the book A Wild Thing, by Hilde Bouchez. There seems to be an inner light that shines from these things. This light is gentle and clear. It reflects the methodology and intention of the maker, who creates from a place of unity with matter and the cosmos, putting him or herself at the service of the making process and transferring energy into the object.

We all love to wander through the homes of unknown people, to look, smell, touch, and imagine the secrets of its owners. Their collections of things complete a puzzle, and make us feel connected, as if we know one another—as if we’ve lingered in the most private chambers of each other’s lives.

Designer duo Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen of Muller Van Severen illustrate the way objects and people interconnect by sharing the wild things that animate their own living room. The designers present a replica of their home in Belgium, with all of its personal icons: a painting by Van Severen’s grandfather, a sculpture made by Muller’s father, the drawings of their children, the souvenirs and precious objects they collected throughout their life, and the furniture they’ve designed.

There is more to the installation than meets the eye. Visitors discover more about the designers’ lives as they are guided by discreet, high-tech speakers that whisper their stories. These narratives give voice to the hidden lives of objects, what they mean, and how they come together to create the essence of home and homecoming in a public space. Muller and Van Severen’s home at Design Miami/ conjures an understanding of their connection with their family, friends, and the intangible beyond, fostering a feeling of acceptance and understanding through an intimate and welcoming space.