We first met Maarten in 2001 when he came to Boisbuchet, France – the then bohemian countryside castle where the Vitra Design Museum summer workshops are held. We were teaching a course and Maarten just happened to be passing by in his beat-up Volvo es
tate to check the place out for his upcoming teaching session. We knew Maarten Van Severen's work well but had never met the man. The uncompromising perfection, the sharp minimalism, the austerity, but – and this was immediately clear – there was no t
race of it in the person. The Southwest French countryside was suddenly taken hostage. A head of hair growing in all directions, intense eyes and a loud and never-ending laughter entered the scene. Absolutely lovely! We became instant friends. Over the
next few years, we met all over the place. In his Ghent, in our Stockholm, for a late night party in a New York hotel room, even experiencing his infamous reckless driving as passengers in his car, racing through Milan. But then Maarten died, mid-lif
e, in 2005, leaving a void in the hearts of family, friends, design followers, us. Today Maarten lives on in his works. All of them masterpieces that have already earned their place in the pantheon of design. Like the famous .03-chair for Vitra. But he
never got to realise all that many projects. So, through our relationship with Maarten's family and Magnus Wästberg, we were able to suggest to them the revival of one of Maarten's most brilliant products – the U-line lamp – that had gone out of prod
uction with its previous manufacturer. With much improved technical performance and equipped with LED's it is now re-named Van Severen w111. So, thank you Wästberg. And to Maarten: we miss you a lot. And we like to think that you'd agree that your bab
y is now in good hands.