Milan is all about the show, says the Dutch designer. So at this year’s Salone he played the ringmaster at his own anarchic circus
An elaborate sand-timer for Laikingland and an introspective model of a thinker for Swarovski, reflect the Dutch designer’s present state of mind.
“Icon” is not a word to be used lightly on these pages but, on the occasion of our hundredth issue, somehow it seemed appropriate
China is the epicentre of copying, from knock-off handbags to the Venetian Macao hotel – itself a copy of an imitation. But this industrious fakery can be more than mere kitsch. It is creative, modern and raises questions about the value of originality.
One image is ubiquitous on the construction hoardings, billboards and plastic shopping bags in Shanghai these days – the tiered silhouette of the China Pavilion at the Expo 2010.
A volcanic ash cloud stole the show in Milan. But then again it wasn’t difficult for a natural phenomenon to step into the limelight at the Milan furniture fair as it was a year dominated by safe launches. The daring and inventiveness we predicted that the recession would bring didn’t come to fruition this year either.
During the Milan furniture fair last week, the city was covered in posters saying “The newest Maarten Baas for only 99c”. It turned out the Dutch designer's latest launch was an iPhone app.
It’s a word with nothing but negative associations: repellent, mutant, nasty. On the surface, it’s the enemy of design. It stands for formlessness over form; artlessness over artistry; revulsion over delight; randomness and chaos in place of craft and precision. But it’s also magnetic.
Dutch designer Maarten Baas’ first exhibition in China will open next Friday at the Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai. Called, appropriately enough, the Shanghai Riddle, the show is the culmination of a year’s work for Baas.