Dutch designer Maarten Baas was born in Arnsberg, Germany, in 1978 but moved to The Netherlands in 1979, where he grew up. Upon graduating from high school in 1995 he began his studies at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven. Baas designed the candleholder Knuckle, which was taken into production by Pols’ Potten, while he was still studying. In 2000 he studied for several months at the Politecnico di Milano, in Milan.
In June 2002 he graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven with two concepts. One of them being the now famous and widely recognised Smoke series, for which Baas charred furniture and treated the torched skeletons with a coating, that turned them into useable pieces of furniture again. As an iconic collection of modern design, Smoke has been taken into several permanent collections of museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Groninger Museum and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
In 2005 Baas began collaborating with Bas den Herder, who is now responsible for the production and development of almost all of Baas’s designs. The founding of studio Baas & Den Herder made it possible to further work out Maarten’s unique, handmade pieces and to produce them on a larger scale. This new collaboration also allows Baas to take on even more ambitious projects for hotels, restaurants, galleries, museums and private commissioners from all over the world.
Since then, Baas has started working with other labels including Moooi, Skitsch and Established & Sons. Private commissioners include Adam Lindemann, Brad Pitt, Fabio Novembre, Ian Schrager, Li Edelkoort, Michael Ovitz and John McEnroe. Collaborations include companies such as Morgane Hotel Group and Dom Ruinart, galleries such as Galleria Rossana Orlandi (Milan), Cibone (Tokyo) and Moss (NY), and many museums.
At the end of 2009, Baas was the youngest designer ever to be recognised as Designer of the Year during Design Miami.
Baas lives and works on a farm in the countryside near Hertogenbosch.