DUTCH DESIGNER MAARTEN BAAS SHOWS US
HIS STUDIO THAT "USED TO BE A FARM"

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Dezeen and MINI World Tour: in this movie we filmed during Dutch Design Week, designer Maarten Baas gives us an exclusive tour of his studio on a former farm a few miles north of Eindhoven

Maarten Baas' studio on a former farm
Maarten Baas' studio in a former farmhouse

"This place used to be a farm; the chickens and the pigs used to walk around here," says Baas, who we interviewed in his office in the converted attic of the former farmhouse. "Now we turned it into a design studio."

Maarten Baas' studio on a former farm
Maarten Baas' offices

Baas' office is home to the original Smoke Chair that he produced for his graduation project while at Design Academy Eindhoven, which is now manufactured by Dutch design brand Moooi.

Maarten Baas' original Smoke Chair
Maarten Baas' original Smoke Chair

"This was the prototype on which Moooi based the Smoke Chair," Baas says. "It's actually burnt furniture with an epoxy resin that sucks into the charcoal. It has been reproduced many times by Moooi, and still we make unique pieces here at the farm."

Clay furniture by Maarten Baas
Clay furniture by Maarten Baas

Baas, who moved to the farm in 2009 with fellow designer Bas den Herder, converted the barn into a workshop where he produces other pieces of furniture such as his famous Clay series, created by moulding a synthetic clay around a metal frame.

"We squeeze our hands in the clay, you can see the fingerprints," explains Baas. "After that, it dries out and it stays like furniture."

Shooting for Maarten Baas' Grandmother Clock
Shooting for Maarten Baas' Grandmother Clock

Downstairs, Baas is in the middle of filming for his new Grandmother Clock, commissioned by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, in which an old lady seems to draw the time using a marker pen from inside the clock.

Grandfather and Grandmother Clocks by Maarten Baas, presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery at Design Miami 2013
Grandfather and Grandmother Clocks by Maarten Baas, presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery at Design Miami 2013

"You're very lucky to be here just at the moment that we are filming the new Grandmother Clock," Baas says. "What you see here is a little cabin in which the grandmother will sit and a video that is recording her. The grandmother will indicate the time every minute with a marker. She will draw the big hand and the small hand and after a minute she wipes away the big hand, does one minute later and like that she goes around the clock."

Maarten Baas' studio on a former farm
Maarten Baas' homemade sauna in an old wooden caravan

Baas then takes us outside to show us his workshop in the barn, as well as a small sauna he made inside an old wooden caravan, before showing us a limited edition piece of Smoke furniture that is in the process of being charred with a blow-torch.

"This is a chair that we are burning for a client," Baas starts to say, before having second thoughts about explaining the process in detail. "Ah, f**k it," he says. "I'm not going to say."

Maarten Baas
Maarten Baas. Copyright: Dezeen

We drove around Eindhoven in our MINI Cooper S Paceman. The music in the movie is a track called Family Music by Eindhoven-based hip hop producer Y'Skid.

You can listen to more music by Y'Skid on Dezeen Music Project and watch more of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour movies here.

MINI Paceman outside Evoluon building, Eindhoven
Our MINI Paceman outside the Evoluon building, Eindhoven