Designer: Maarten Baas
Moooi is a Dutch furniture, interiors, and lightning design company, which Home Resource has represented. The company was founded by two Dutch designers, Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers in 2001 and their brand’s mission statement is to “make the environment more beautiful, inspiring, and exciting.” It was through Moooi that Kathy and I had the opportunity to learn about many talented young Dutch designers, including Maarten Baas.
Baas is considered to be one of the most influential Dutch designers of the beginning of the 21st century. He is often described as an “author designer,” of which his works lie on the boundaries between art and design. His work is known as rebellious, playful, intellectual, theatrical and artistic. He has gained an autonomous position in the design field, and his work varies from conceptual designs, limited editions, production design, installations, public space, architecture, interior design, theater design and performances.
Maarten’s approach to design is unique and unconventional. He went to garage sales and bought chairs, took them home, set them on fire, and watched them burn. As he played with different accelerants and ways to stop the burn, he became fascinated with the charred look. And more importantly, how to strengthen the chair’s frame once it was charred. Through a series of trial and error, Baas introduced the Smoke armchair as his project and created a niche that took him to unimaginable heights. He charred people's homes, charred a dining table for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and charred the billiard table at the Gramercy hotel. But his proudest moment was when he was commissioned to char a 1929 Steinway piano and perform on it at the client's home. Unbelievable!