Maarten Baas

Maarten Baas is a German designer, living and working in the Netherlands. He studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and at the Politecnico in Milan. His first commercial success, the Knuckle candleholder, was created whilst he was still a student.

His famous Smoke collection is made by literally setting fire to old chairs and tables before coating them in an epoxy resin to preserve the charred remains. By stripping away ornament Baas diminishes the hands-off preciousness of design and brings the objects closer to their true purpose, as common tables and chairs. In 2004, Baas debuted his Smoke series as a solo-exhibition called Where there's Smoke?, at Moss in New York. The exhibition had twenty five unique pieces, some of which were classical designs by Gaudi, Eames, Rietveld, and Sottsass, all torched by Baas.

In 2006, he launched Clay Furniture at the Salone del Mobile, Milan. The Clay series takes the idea of functional imperfection from the smoke series. He hand molds a clay composite around basic metal structure such as chairs, which differ with every piece. His newest collection Sculpt was launched in 2007. This collection includes oversized chairs, cupboards, tables and chests-of-drawers.

Baas' work can be found in the collections of the following institutions amongst others:

Vitra Design Museum , Weil am Rhein

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Collection Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris

Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Yerevan, Armenia

Graphic Design Museum, Breda

Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Centraal Museum, Utrecht