At the age of 17, Benoît Quevrin began his scientific studies with one aim in mind: to save the world. But save it from what, exactly? At that time, he didn’t ask himself the question, due to innocent immaturity. He may be more reasonable today, but he is still driven by a determination to lead as many people as possible towards what he sees as fair and equitable.
A teacher, amateur carpenter, CEO and basketball player, Benoît loves life, is interested in everything and gets fully involved in his projects. He believes in collective intelligence and the strength of a network providing more resilience to anyone wishing to develop a better future.
In 2015, after working mainly in the energy sector, he became the director of the think tank FAAST. His aim was to set standards for sustainability with his partners in the building sector and to launch sustainable projects. Based on his wide-ranging experience, such as dynamic studies in artificial lighting or travel organisation, he uses his know-how to help his projects and the people working alongside him to grow. Today, his role is to make Mellow a reality.
Gifted with an artistic sensibility, Benoît takes part of his inspiration from his favourite works. In his search for emotions, he likes to immerse himself in the details of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, to contemplate Hopper’s Nighthawks, savouring the atmosphere to be experienced just by looking at it, or to absorb the remarkable scale of Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). This sensibility comes from his mother. She took him to museums as a child, whether he liked it or not. Together with great painters, she gave him his taste for art. Regarding architecture, he is always impressed by firms such as Snøhetta, which shares his aim of promoting a more environmentally responsible architecture.
Benoît is a philanthropist who takes it as read that everyone has some good in them. He is close to his family and to his co-workers, and is attentive to the opinions both of his wife and of Al Gore. He manages a team where everyone feels free to give his or her point of view, to correct him and help him to grow.
Benoît's ideal Mellow
The iconic Mellow 4.
Perfect for an office in an urban area, set up on a high roof for a great view. The Mellow is the stuff of dreams, especially because of its modular and simple aspect evoking the Japanese style that is especially well suited to it.
As a second choice, he would have a simple home, with around 15 single-storey modules set up in tall grasses, where you can live in peace until the day you change your mind and remove them from the landscape…
COMMUNICATION & MARKETING
Thanks to an eclectic, multilingual and adventurous education, Claire is a born communicator who loves words and craftsmanship. She grew up as the daughter of an architect-engineer, who was always on the look-out for innovations — a visionary who grasped early on the issues arising from climate change. Her mother worked as a social worker. She passed on a deep conviction that whatever our differences, there are riches deep inside each one of us. With her natural curiosity and dynamism, Claire tries her hand in turn at music, cycling, charcoal drawing and dancing.
During her higher education, her free time was taken up with scouting. She felt at home in a natural environment, and gradually rose through the ranks until she became regional head of the Scouting Federation. This was a real second family that brought her a sense of autonomy, resourcefulness, openness and curiosity. The taste for travel and for meeting people has never left her. Sometimes alone, sometimes with others, Claire has travelled and worked all over Europe and worldwide.
In 2019, she joined the FAAST adventure and the Mellow project. She was asked to develop the brand identity and took her place within the team in a co-working space in Charleroi, after the Mellow project won the Mind & Market innovation prize in 2019. Claire is a nomad who also enjoys work sessions in unexpected and gourmet spots such as breakfast at Häagen Dazs or the cafés on Quai 10.
She also takes her inspiration from music. Her daily soundtrack consists of a wide range of artists from France and Belgium (Thomas Fersen, Boris Vian, Saule, Louise Attaque, Ghinzu, Angèle) and elsewhere (Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, Anouk, Moriarty, Billie Eilish, Clara Luciani). Her capacity not to take herself too seriously also comes from contemporary pop culture.
Claire has a free, open and colourful spirit, and is deeply attached to humanity and to nature. She is strongly aware of the quality of the present moment, and loves to read in the shade of a tree, listening to Sitting on the Dock of the Bay or discovering great works in the silence of museums. From the cultural richness of her existence, Claire savours moments spent outside time, like her encounter with a Pollock at the MoMa or with the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre.
Claire's ideal Mellow
The Work & Dream place.
Claire is very happy with her small home in normal circumstances. But the pandemic rewrote the rules and sometimes she dreams of a different kind of space. She would like a peaceful spot where natural daylight would accompany her work. In the first module, a large tablet would replace her work desk. A bay window would give her a direct view over the vegetable garden, the orchard and the fields all around. In the other module, she would have a sofa with a matching carpet, lamp and rest area. For her, the Mellow would be a peaceful place and a source of inspiration when the time came to write or read her latest find. In a corner, a few plants, the guitar, bass, amp and piano would round off the atmosphere.
Céline loves materials, colours, forms and lines. Her spirit is excited by the aesthetics of the world. She looked for her own path for a long time, and it was only after motherhood that she decided to fulfil herself in what has always defined her: design. Convinced today that if you give yourself a chance, you can achieve anything, Céline is able to create any kind of object.
A chance meeting led to her joining Faast. In the team, more than co-workers, she found friends. Together, they are trying to find out what life in the future will look like. This means she can make use of her skills in design and innovative materials. Céline is sure that it is essential to create aesthetically attractive, practical and durable living spaces. She sees Mellow as a warm and welcoming world, customised for each project.
As a child, she was disappointed that her house couldn’t be moved around with a crane. Later she had the chance to live in small transportable places in remote spots. She learned how important it is to optimise space and comfort. She wants to pass on the feeling of taking control of one’s life with the help of her designs.
Céline’s commitments found in the Mellow project an ideal alliance between her deep values (autonomy and durability) and greatest loves (creation of a protective living space, in harmony with what is all around us, and design). Modular design is for her a living reality. Housing must be able to change in line with needs linked to the different phases of life.
Céline is fascinated by lines and can be carried away for hours at a time as she looks at works by Vasarely, the Cubists and Art Deco. She admires great architects such as Robert Mallet Stevens and Mies van der Rohe, but is also moved by the aesthetics of the interior design of Jean Dubuisson, amused by the crazy aspects of designers like Ettore Sottsass and fascinated by the richness of the worlds created by furniture designers. In general, Céline is enthralled by human genius and the emotions it can give rise to.
She is touched by kindness, well-being and joy, and is deeply altruistic. She questions the world in her search for common sense. Céline loves music, chocolate and roller-skating. She experiments, goes with the flow, dreams. Her creativity is at its height at nighttime. Wrapped up an almost therapeutic nocturnal sweetness, with a needle, a paintbrush or a pencil in her hand, she is at one with herself.
Céline's ideal Mellow
Her Mellow? Given the chance, she is more than happy to speak about her Mellows!
The first would be a very aesthetic assembly of 20 modules with some cantilevered elements to create shaded areas and terraces with a view. It would all be modern and simple on the outside, warm and pleasant on the inside, filled with light and open to welcome her family.
The second would have four modules at the most. It would be lit by ambience lighting inside and out, and would be set up on a remote beach (but not too remote, so she could go to the shops by bike). Inside would be books, painting and drawing materials, swim fins and a diving mask.
The third would be in the mountains, with a very warm and protective interior, contrasting with the ruggedness outside. She would wake up to the song of the birds, follow the rhythms of nature and animals, see the snow melting in the midday sun and enjoy evenings in front of the fire.
The last Mellow would be at the end of her garden. In a “haven of peace at home” spirit, it would be modular with an office for concentration, a guest bedroom, an area to relax alone, to sleep and play…
Anthony Vanden Eede
PARTNER RELATIONS MANAGER
Anthony trained as an electromechanical engineer and is always on the lookout for new ideas. With the aim of combining his two eternal loves, buildings and technology, he decided to turn towards construction. Today, he is making use of his knowledge as the CEO of the company he founded: Ark Habitat, a PropTech startup aiming to introduce disruptive technologies in the building sector. Day to day, Anthony looks after administration, software development and prototyping, among other things.
In his wish to obtain new skills and knowledge to try to satisfy his permanent curiosity, and convinced of the need to work towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world, he joined Mellow in 2019. He is pragmatic, open and determined. He manages relations with production partners, from support to design, with a focus on manufacturing feasibility.
A big fan of design, his ingenuity takes inspiration from the work and philosophy of the inventors of daily life, such as Jony Ive, James Dyson, Dieter Rams and Franz von Holzhausen. On the other side of the human scale, he finds extraordinary objects and their abstract appearance fascinating, like the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon by Vianney Halter: a watch paying homage to our space-time continuum by constantly reminding us about the laws of the reality in which we live, and the fact that time is our most precious finite resource.
In architectural terms, he is moved by the minimalist and efficient approach of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe which was expressed, for example, in his avant-garde Farnsworth House. His artistic sensibility is inspired by the works of Kandinsky, Giacometti and Monet, and his thoughtful spirit and curiosity have been marked by films such as Mr. Nobody by the Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael, for its aesthetic appeal, its humour, its quest for meaning and his exploration of the concept of “choice”.
Anthony's ideal Mellow
Since anything is possible, we might as well dream big!
Anthony’s ideal Mellow would be set at the top of the Tate Modern in London, with a breathtaking view of the Thames and St. Paul’s Cathedral. This space would be his retreat, where he would go to develop new ideas, standing on the shoulders of some of the most eminent artists of the last century.
Bertrand is an engineer and big fan of technology. He began his career in finance and energy, before falling in love with the building sector, helping to found the start-up Ark Habitat. With enthusiasm and determination he then joined Mellow with the aim of achieving his life project: to develop practical products, which are meaningful and have an impact on society. With this in mind, he contributes to technical development, manufacturing and production management.
Bertrand loves computer programming and admires the founding fathers in the computer and the web (which he calls “humanity’s finest inventions”!): Alan Turing, Kahn, Cerf and Berners-Lee are among his role models. More recently, he has been impressed by engineers with a creative and innovative spirit. At the top of the list is Georges Hotz, a young engineer developing an autonomous driving system, and Vitalik Buterin, founder of the blockchain Ethereum. And when he looks towards less digital horizons, he is attracted by Japanese culture: the principles of life of the Samurai Miyamoto Musashi in the Book of Five Rings, the incredible force evoked by The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai… But modern life soon returns when he evokes his other favourite pastime, the cinema. To give just one example, the pared down futuristic aesthetics of Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, recently won him over.
Everything that can be coded interests Bertrand! But when he sets aside his computer, sport is his thing, and he never says no to a mountain-bike ride with his friends. He loves new things, testing and starting again, convinced that contributing to the development of people’s living spaces, combining durability, aesthetic appeal, modular design and intelligence, was the best move in his career.
Bertrand's ideal Mellow
An isolated Mellow at the heart of nature, overlooking the Meuse valley. Somewhere to recharge his batteries, read and maybe even play a bit of guitar, which he hasn’t picked up for a while…
In 2017, Renaud met Benoît Quevrin, who asked him, at that very first meeting: how can we make Mellow autonomous in energy, even in winter? Renaud made an ambitious proposal to extend the energy-capturing surface (mainly photovoltaic) by a factor of 3.5 compared with the norm. He suggested putting panels and sensors everywhere, even vertically and to the north. His remarks convinced Benoît, and it was the beginning of a fruitful partnership. Since then, with ElectriXities, and then with Ark Habitat, Renaud has been working with the team on developing the Mellow. Within the project, he looks after the electric and thermal motor.
A man of conviction (at the age of 18, he didn’t want to learn to drive because cars emit CO2!). Renaud is extremely sensitive to the fight against global warming, which drives his interest in renewable energies and energy storage.
In his free time, Renaud takes an interest in all sorts of artists and creative people. He is passionate about the question of evolution and interested in the work of Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins and David Sinclair. In his library, works by the futurologist Ray Kurzweil stand side by side with books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb about the epistemology of probabilities and by the science fiction writer Ramez Naam. He explores even more worlds in his music playlist, where Stravinsky follows Pink Floyd and precedes David Bowie. Lastly, in his search history you can find promising companies specialised in technologies such as SolarEdge, Kromatix, LONGi, Naked Energy, Lavo…
Renaud's ideal Mellow
As an idealist, his Mellow would be at the lakeside in a Nordic region, far from the city, but with Starlink Internet access. As a realist, he would then foresee the consequences of democratising the Mellow in a natural, untamed world. Well aware of the needs of wild animals in terms of peace and quiet, especially during the breeding period, he then realised that this project would compromise Mellow’s future by leading it to take part in a new wave of colonisation and destruction of nature, in areas where human beings are not yet omnipresent.
A real all-rounder, Pouria moves between a range of sensibilities: architecture and smart energy management are only some examples among many of the areas he works in. He is keen on new things and innovation, and likes to change direction to accumulate experience. Finally, Pouria is not defined by a profession, but by a guiding thread: sustainable design.
So it was quite natural that he should cross paths with some of the members of Faast. A loyal, sociable and open co-worker, he soon became part of the team. He was attracted by the relevance and the revolutionary aspect of the Mellow project and wanted to make his own contribution by taking care of the B2B aspects, among others. Influenced by the Surrealist movement, he sees his work in the light of a conviction that there is no limit to the imagination.
He is fan of design and admires architects such as Tadao Ando, with his gift for producing simple designs, as in his projects Church of the Light and Church on the Water which are in fact a bit like the Mellow. In the same way, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house is a work he finds deeply inspirational.
In the artistic process, he is strongly attracted by the way contemporary art prompts spectators not to be content with the final form of the work, but on the contrary to appreciate the artistic approach and use it to tell their own story. The best example of a contemporary artist, a source of inspiration, is Banksy, for the perfection of his art, his message, his graphic style and his critical stance.
Pouria loves football, contemporary history, politics and cinema. He is an enthusiast who likes to get away from it all and to learn new things. He loves life and is always ready to accompany all these activities with a great craft beer (of any origin, but preferably Belgian!).
Pouria's ideal Mellow
His Mellow for relaxing and everyday life would be filled with cushions of all colours and all sizes. He is a nomad, so it would sometimes be set up facing the Saint Lawrence River in Canada, and sometimes in Masuleh — a village in northern Iran — or in the Tuscan vineyards. Through the large bay windows, he would look out on these breathtaking landscapes.
In his wildest dreams, his Mellow for work would be white and empty, and located on the Moon. From there, he would look back at the Earth and enjoy weightlessness.