Material Tendencies: Maarten Baas
Informed by a storytelling approach, the work of Dutch designer Maarten Baas links elements of design, art and theatre
Our team recently spoke with Baas about his intuitive way of creating.
Anita Hackethal, Architonic: If you had to work with one material for the next three years, which would you choose?
The whole handicap of my career is that I never work with the same material. I wish I had a specialty. One day I am creating a 12-hour movie; another, I am learning how to preserve burned wood and how to make clay furniture. I couldn’t choose one material. My way of working is never one way. I feel what keeps it fresh is the explosion that happens in your head when you don’t know what to do with the material. So if I was forced to work with only one material, I think I would quit my job.
In the design process, what comes first? Is it the shape, the idea or the material?
The idea is always first and then I fill it in with the material and the technique. Though sometimes I already have quite a clear idea of what kind of material would fit, because it is part of the concept. Once I made a very superficial kind of piece in bronze –a gumball machine. For me bronze is symbolic for a kind of timeless material –whereas the gumball machine is a very temporary, entertaining piece.
What is your superpower?
My intuition is my main tool and I have to really cherish that. The older you get and the more responsibilities you have, the harder it is to be flexible. I try to create circumstances in which my superpower –my intuition– is always available. That is for me the holy grail.