Airbnb Presents ‘A Wild Thing’ at Design Miami/ 2017

Today, Airbnb presents A Wild Thing, an interactive installation created for Design Miami/ in collaboration with Belgian design studio Muller Van Severen. A deeply personal exploration of the concept of home, A Wild Thing is on view in Miami, Florida from December 6-10, 2017.

Muller Van Severen will recreate their own living room for visitors to Design Miami/, inviting them to be hosted in the space as guests, sit on the furniture, read books, and listen to music. Simultaneously, their home in Belgium will be shared on Airbnb.

There is more to the installation than meets the eye. Guests will discover the designers’ lives and histories through individual objects in the room, guided by discreet high-tech speakers that play directional sound. When guests approach a key piece, stories will be whispered privately for only them to hear.

Each object has been carefully selected and has a great personal significance; for example a painting by Hannes’ grandfather, noted artist Dan Van Severen, a sculpture by Fien’s father Koen Muller, as well as furniture the duo has designed and souvenirs they have collected throughout their lives. The installation aims to conjure an understanding of their family stories, daily routines, personal style, and network of friends, creating the essence of home and homecoming in a public space.

These targeted narratives will give voice to the hidden lives of objects, what they mean, and how they come together to create the warmth of a home. Muller Van Severen has collaborated with Professor Hilde Bouchez, whose novel “A Wild Thing” – after which the  installation is named – focuses on the idea that everyday objects can take on an extra dimension or quality that has no relation to functionality or form.

“Airbnb is committed to giving voice to a new generation of designers. With this installation we also give voice to objects of beauty and design. The design, arrangement and mood of our homes, as well as the connections and experiences that occur within them, can represent our values and ourselves. As a platform, Airbnb empowers interactions between people who might never otherwise connect, cultivating an appreciation of place, resources, and rituals.”

Andrew Speyer, Airbnb Regional Brand Marketing Director for the Americas

Continues Speyer, “Home is defined by its physicality – a protective space providing creature comforts and shelter. It is also representative of a deeply personal and emotional place – as it is filled with human experiences, emotions, connection to culture, people, and geographical context. It represents the place where one feels they belong. Through Airbnb, this once private space has now become a vehicle for connecting people to different cultures, geographies, and people. You have a place to belong – a home, in both senses of the word – almost anywhere in the world.”

Add Hannes Van Severen and Fien Muller, “We all love to wander through the homes of unknown people. The invisible threads between all the objects whisper the secrets of the owners into our soul. Through the objects interconnectedness is materialized. We feel as if we know these people, as if we linger through their most private chambers of life.”

“With our project we want to illustrate the invisible connection between the owner and the visitor. The latter discovers a new universe, a different life and yet so similar to that of his own. Spending time in someone else’s home is often a totally different experience than the homes presented in glossy magazines. When staying in an Airbnb home, one experiences life as it is, not as it is pretended.”

A Wild Thing continues Airbnb’s mission of curating creative talent from around the world. Following Passeggiata (Milan, April 2017), Sobremesa (Miami, December 2016), Makers and Bakers (Milan, April 2016), Housewarming (Milan, April 2015), and A Place Called Home (London, September 2014), A Wild Thing is the brand’s latest project inviting some of the world’s most innovative and exciting designers to explore the shared home.