A New Domestic Landscape
The works of Maarten Baas continually challenge conventions of design while simultaneously paying tribute to its rich history and its makers. His highly conceptual approach to design - from his use of materials and process to the function of his objects - invites the user to reconsider their environment and envision a new domestic landscape.
Baas turns another maker’s trash into a viable product with Treasure Furniture, an edition of fifty-eight dining chairs and twenty-three armchairs made of identical pieces of scrap MDF tossed out by a furniture manufacturer. With Plastic Chair in Wood, Baas challenged woodcarvers in Shanghai to use traditional Chinese techniques to create Western forms; thus, transforming the common plastic chair into an icon of beauty. For Clay Furniture, Baas works with materials not commonly associated with everyday furnishings. Chairs and tables are handmade in brightly, colored clay over a metal frame; No two Clay works are exactly the same. With a brilliant marriage of technology and wit, Baas tells time visually in his highly acclaimed Real Time, a series of clocks that debuted at the Milan Salone di Mobile in 2009.
Resourcefulness and intellect pairs exceptionally well with Baas' creative and playful aesthetic. His designs exhibit rebelliousness yet they remain entirely reverent. His appreciation for the history of design is most evident in his 2004 series, Where There's Smoke comprised of twenty-five design icons of the 20th century each carefully burnt to a charred but identifiable and structurally sound relic of its former self. A truly avant-garde thinker, Maarten Baas boldly nods to the designers that came before him as he bestows new meanings on the objects he creates.
Maarten Baas was born in Germany on February 19th 1978 and his family moved to The Netherlands the following year. After completing high school, Baas attended the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven and studied for a few months at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. In 2002 Baas graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven with the concept for his famous Smoke series that would be introduced the following year at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.
The works of Maarten Baas challenge the limitations of design, from his use of materials and process to the function of his objects and furniture forms. Baas invites the user to envision a new domestic landscape with Treasure Furniture, an edition of chairs made of identical pieces of scrap MDF, Plastic Chair in Wood where traditional Chinese woodcarving techniques are used to transform the common plastic chair into an icon of beauty, and Clay Furniture which uses materials not commonly associated with everyday furnishings. Baas debuted his highly acclaimed Real Time, a series of clocks at the Milan Salone di Mobile in 2009 and later that year he became the youngest designer to ever win Designer of the Year at Design Miami. Today, works by Baas can be found in several museum collections around the world including Victoria & Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
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