Maarten Baas is currently one of the most influential Dutch designers of the beginning of the 21st century. He is often described as an “author-designer” his art pieces are a good example of storytelling through design while playing with the boundaries between art and design.
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Baas was born on 19 February 1978 and grew up in Burgh-Haamstede and Hemmen located in the southwest and central region of the Netherlands. After graduating from high school, he began studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 1996.
His works are defined by many words: rebellious, playful, intellectual, theatrical and artistic. Baas can be considered as an unstoppable force in the design field, working in a variety of categories, among them we can count: conceptual design, limited edition furniture, and production design to installations, public spaces, architecture, and interior design or even theatrical design and performances.
One of his more notable works is ”Where There’s Smoke”. In order for this couch to be made, pieces of furniture were literally burned. After the incineration, the ashes were then preserved in a clear epoxy coating and the result is what you can see by the image above.
We also couldn’t make an article about Maarten Baas without mentioning the Clay collection. These revolutionary furniture pieces, among them a table, a rocking chair, and a side table are a prime example of the raw, surreal, and lyrical approach that emerged in post-millennial design and that has inspired many designers’ works. They’re all made out of synthetic Clay with a metal “skeleton” inside that helps to reinforce the structure. These pieces were all modeled by hand which helped in making each of the pieces of the collection unique.
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He’s had his works of art were showcased in major museum collections, such as the MoMa, Victoria & Albert Museum, Les Arts Decoratifs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Die Neue Sammlung, Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum.
His works also made it into private art collections of top celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Kanye West, Ian Schrage, and Adam Lindemann. Not to mention the fact that he’s collaborated with some of the world’s top exclusive brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Swarovski, Dior, Gramercy Park Hotel, Dom Ruinart and Berluti. One of the partnerships Marten Baas maintains to this day is with Bas den Herder.