Domestic Design

Last month, HOOK’s handmade geometric jewellery was represented at Søndag. Charlotte brought, next to the ornaments worn by Søndag’s very own luscious bartenders, her engaging entourage!

I met her friend, Hélène Van Marcke. This young independent interior decorator commutes from Ghent up until Paris for her projects. After having worked for several years as a freelancer for different interior offices, she couldn’t help but giving in to the ambitious urge to go fully independent.

As you know, I am fond of nature’s finest materials (see The Drivkraft of Design) and therefore, Hélène and I rejoiced in our shared devotion for the first-rate kinds of wood that endure generations of time and the pureness of light.

Hélène has a clear vision on how she approaches her various projects. She includes timeless and warm objects: think old materials with a purified twist. Her furniture, designed on demand for clients, varies from Parallel, a public bench in powder-coated steel; to a cutlery set called Lab.

As Hélène always maintains a personal and spontaneous dialogue with her clientele, every project is customized, inspired by the vicinity of the venue, and holds several custom made furniture pieces, whether it is made by Hélène herself or her close friend David Braeckman, HOOK’s Charlotte’s partner.

The Hoogpoort project, for example, exhibits the Barrel Lamp of David, made out of wood with a beech base and steel frame. Next to that, this project reflects the usage of beloved qualitative materials. Just navigate through these pictures… Nuff said!

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David Braeckman, the talented Belgian designer, is better known as Ministry of Mass. By this alias, he creates simple and therefore strong objects, from lighting to furniture. You might have laid eyes on him on Night Shift in Ghent, the Biënnale Interieur in Kortrijk, Salone del Mobile in Milan and, don’t worry, many more attendances to come!

The use of sustainable and natural materials such as marble, concrete, steel and wood enchanted me right away! As the designs are pure and solid, I find it remarkable how well fit Ministry of Mass is with the designs of partner Charlotte from HOOK.

Fun fact: David evades permanent connections within his creations, as he wants every component to be replaceable. Each design is a challenge, anticipating his mark.

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David finds his inspirations in his surroundings: when encountering people, unintentionally he tends to grasp certain details that fan the flame of his creative process. As his surrounded ones creatively relish at starting things up and getting things done, David is fuelled by a continuous source of inspiration.

As certain artists, architects and design blogs such as toildrops, iGNANT and Dezeen inspire David, it is the Arte Povera Movement and the old American Shaker houses that incite Hélène. Contemporary projects are undoubtedly appealing to the eye, yet Hélène feels more influenced by ancient architecture such as ethnic arts and crafts, Italian plastering or the archetypes of design. That, stirred with still lives, vast art installations (think James Turell or Richard Serra), minimalistic designs of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt’s paintings propel Hélène to visualize ideas for blossoming projects.

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So where can you retrieve or contact Ministry of Mass and Hélène Van Marcke?

To reach Hélène Van Marcke, just comfortably contact her via her website to spontaneously and avidly discuss art, taste or collaborations. Depending on where you want to discuss those topics or where you want to collaborate, Belgium or France, it is possible to ring the suitable number.

Ministry of Mass is to be found in retail stores in Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels but also in Berlin at Leogant or soon in original online shops such as Amsterdam’s CrowdyHouse and Sweden’s The Loppist. Get directly in touch with David via his website if you want to acquire more information for a potential purchase.

You will most definitely revel in these driven get-togethers!

Pictures © Ministry of Mass and Hélène Van Marcke