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A few weeks ago IaMatters introduced Maxime Vancoillie’s (former master student 2013) opening her exhibition at the Designmuseum Gent. The exposition ‘De invasie toont’ is currently up and running and worth a visit ! This is the first time the Design Museum has an exhibition based on an open call. Usually it focuses on exhibiting famous designers.A few days ago students following the elective Alumnia met with Maxime to talk about her work and visited the exposition. They also asked her a few questions :

“What is Interior Architecture to you?”

“For me interior architecture will always be linked to a sentence I created: ‘Eat words so you get strong enough to build a city.’ This sentence is a reference to collecting sources, information and knowledge. If you have acquired all of this information it serves as a base to turn your idea into a design. A design is always part of a bigger picture, a network. This network is very important to me because through this network you can really see the relationship between people, objects and spaces. They are always connected to each other. As a designer you are part of this network, you have a responsibility.”

What did the course of Interior Architecture at KULeuven teach you?

“They give you the freedom to develop a very conceptual way of thinking. They teach you how to look at things and see things in a way you never did before. When walking in a certain environment you watch things closely and notice details. These observations can later be used in your own way of designing.”

Maxime’s project is situated in the centre of the room on the second floor. She transformed her master project ‘Poetry of the homeless’ into a life-size scale project. She made a room which can be entered. This room embodies her research around homeless people.


Can you tell us some more about your approach towards this project ?

“The inside of this room is the memory of the parental house of a homeless person. The best way to show this memory is through an image and not through a function. For example the room has a closet, but by making it out of concrete it doesn’t have a function anymore. And that’s how a memory works for me, you have an image but you can’t do anything with it. On the outside of this room there are negative forms, which create new spaces. These new spaces can be read in a subjective way, you can make whatever you want out of them. You can fill them with imagination. That’s how homeless people also see spaces in the city. They give them a personal purpose. A bench on the street becomes a bed.”


Maxime’s work is surrounded by other amazing stuff. A total of 43 up-and-coming artists were selected to show their work. The work that is displayed ranges from jewellery, carpet, textiles, chairs to Maxime’s ‘Poetry of the homeless’. Some things are purely functional, some things are almost political statements. If you are in Ghent be sure to visit this expo. You can still go and have a look until the 13th of September.

By Kelly Coomans, Michael Van De Keere and Emma Lippens – students currently following the Alumnia-elective.

The exposition runs from may 7th till September 2015 @ design museum Gent