Maarten Baas


Maarten Baas

Maarten Baas is one of the leading Dutch designers

Maarten Baas (Arnsberg, Germany, February 19, 1978) is a Dutch autonomous designer. Baas is often described as a so-called author-designer, whose designs lie between art and design.

Baas is seen as one of the most influential Dutch designers of the early 21st century. His work is known as rebellious, humorous, intellectual, theatrical and artistic. He has taken an autonomous place in the design world, where he works in various areas, such as: limited editions, production, installations, public space, architecture, interior, sets and performances. Baas has been working with his production partner Bas den Herder since 2005. Most of the work is made under his supervision in the DHPH studio in Gewande, close to ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
In 1996 Baas started at the Design Academy Eindhoven. With his graduation collection Smoke, consisting of a series of burnt furniture, Baas quickly became world famous in 2002. In 2004 Baas opened an exhibition in the Moss gallery in New York. Where There’s Smoke consisted of 25 burnt design classics, including the ZigZag chair by Rietveld, the Carlton cabinet by Sottsass and chair No. 14 from Thonet. According to the American design critic Alice Rawsthorn, Baas reflects with “Smoke” on our beauty ideals, but also on ‘the violence of our time’.  According to design journalist Chris Reinewald, Baas belongs to a group of Dutch designers such as Ted Noten who, after Droog and the ‘conceptual’ approach, have an almost cabaret-like approach to design, “detached from all the marketing requirements imposed by the industry”. Baas wants to be as independent as possible in his work and stay away from mass production.


Smoke was Baas’ graduation project at the Design Academy Eindhoven (NL). It was the result of his research on beauty and perfection. “In nature, everything is in flux, which creates a certain beauty. Yet, it’s a very human tendency to keep things as they are supposed to be and keep them beautiful as they originally were. Smoke plays with both perceptions of beauty.”

After the pieces are charcoaled, they’re preserved in clear epoxy resin, which makes them firm enough to become functional again. Ever since the first pieces were made in 2002, the collection has expanded by various commissions both for museums as well as private clients. In 2004, Moss gallery in New York (US) collaborated on the Where There’s Smoke… series: a collection of design classics by Rietveld, Gaudi, Eames, Sottsass and other design icons, burnt by Maarten Baas.


1978_Born in Arnsberg  (DE)
1996_Start Design Academy Eindhoven
2002 _Graduation with SMOKE
2009 _Designer of the Year, design Miami

| private collections, The Netherlands
| private collections of Brad Pitt, John McEnroe, Kanye West, and Adam Lindemann.
| MoMa, New York, USA
|Victoria & Albert, London, UK
| Museum Les Arts Decoratifs, FR
| San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
| Schiphol, Amsterdam, NL
| Die Neue Sammlung, DE
| Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL
| Het Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NL


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