Breaking boundaries at DI2011

Maarten Baas’s designs are not defined by predetermined boundaries, rather he finds his cause in undertaking new experiments.

Dutch designer Maarten Baas graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2002 and the rest, well, is a very successful story of a young product designer.

With his graduate furniture range, the Smoke collection, Baas literally set fire to old chairs and tables before coating them in an epoxy resin to preserve the charred remains. Three of the Smoke pieces became part of Marcel Wanders’s Moooi design label, where it received international acclaim. The Smoke series was later expanded to include pieces by Rietveld, Eames, Gaudi and Sottsass, resulting in an iconic collection of modern design.

Baas works in the field of limited editions, which he considers to be very innovative. Believing that all shapes can be reinvented by the imagination, Baas makes almost all his work by hand, in organic-inspired forms. Sculpt, Clay Furniture and, mostly recently, Real Time have further cemented Baas’s position as one of the most talented product designers of recent times.

In addition to above-mentioned successes, Baas:

  • Experienced his first commercial success while studying, when his Knuckle candleholder was put into production by Pols Potten.
  • Is the youngest recipient ever to be awarded the coveted Designer of the Year award at Design Miami 2009.
  • Never looks to the past or future when creating, but rather makes what he feels like in the moment.
  • Has had his Smoke collection featured in the collections of prominent collectors like Li Edelkoort and Philippe Starck.
  • Has done private commissions for the likes of Brad Pitt, Fabio Novembre, John McEnroe and Ian Schrager.
  • Has had his work feature in prominent galleries and museums, including the Groninger Museum, Moss Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the International Design Museum in Munich.

Maarten Baas will be speaking at the 2011 Design Indaba Conference from 23 to 25 February.

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