dezeen's irregular gossip update

Here is another digest of gossip, resignations and sabbaticals...

Maarten Baas to burn buildings

Maarten Baas wants to burn buildings, he tells us. The Dutch designer shot to fame with his Smoke series of singed furniture, and is now keen to work on a bigger scale.

"With smoke I did almost everything I wanted to do," he tells us. "Maybe it could go more in the direction of architecture."

Baas has already burned a spiral staircase in an Amsterdam hairdressers and an entire wall in the home of Milanese designer Fabio Novembre.

Rietveld (almost) sues Baas

Baas also reveals that his smoked version of Rietveld's famous Red Blue Chair almost landed him in court.

"[The] Rietveld [Foundation] was actually about to make a problem of it," Baas says. "They have a team of people judging whether they should make a problem of things that are happening around the rietveld chair and they said this is not good."

In the end, they called the lawyers off, largely after fellow designer Richard Hutten - who is on the Rietveld Foundation board - persuaded them that the piece was a compliment rather than an insult.

Hutten should know: Baas had already burnt Hutten's Table-Chair.

Jurgen Bey told Baas to quit

Jurgen Bey has confided that he advised Baas to give up his dream of becoming a designer.

The advice came when Bey - who is now lined up to take over from Ron Arad as the head of the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art - was a tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven, where Baas was struggling to find his voice as a designer.

"I told him to stop," Bey says.

Frederico Duarte leaves Experimenta

Our good friend Frederico Duarte has left Lisbon design biennale Experimenta. Among the many projects he is working on is a book on Portuguese cakes with designers Pedrita, plus he has been appointed "image curator" for daylife, a new online news aggregator.

But why doesn't daylife have a culture section, Frederico?

Max Fraser embarks on world tour

Another good friend, Max Fraser, is heading off for a three-month sojourn around the world.

Fraser, who works with dezeen editor Marcus Fairs running Pecha Kucha events in the UK as well as writing books and curating, will be switching off his BlackBerry and doing what twenty-somethings are supposed to do in destinations including San Francisco, Sydney and Thailand.

"I will not be responding to subsequent emails during my travels and my mobile phone will be left in London," Fraser says in his farewell message.

Pecha Kucha news

Speaking of Pecha Kucha, the next London event is at the ICA on February 14. Speakers confirmed so far include Wallpaper* creative director Tony Chambers, Russell Sage and Anab Jain.

For updates, join the mailing list at For news of global Pecha Kucha events, go here.

Suzanne Trocmé leaves Wallpaper*

More departures: Suzanne Trocmé, Wallpaper" magazine's Special Projects Editor, has resigned to work on new projects.

In his email to staff announcing the news, Wallpaper* editor Jeremy Langmead - who himself resigned before Christmas - wrote: "Suzanne needs to achieve her ambition to be a multi-millionaire within 18 months and feels that her work as Special Projects editor is unlikely to be the quickest route."

WGSN loves dezeen

Online style bible Worth Global Style Network has declared its love. "We love it: dezeen online design magazine," WGSN wrote in its email bulletin last Friday, which also included a mini-interview with dezeen editor Marcus Fairs.

"The magazine offers original content with features on new products, events and news stories, plus plenty of gossip from around the world," WGSN writes. "Dezeen is also planning to launch events in London, New York and Tokyo." Yes, that's right.

Shame on Frame

Dutch interiors magazine Frame obviously loves us too - but is not quite so open in declaring it.

It has just relaunched its website, where it has copied and pasted our scoop on Marc Newson's new work for Gagosian, including our misspelling of the word "Carrara" (thanks to Ono for pointing this out to us). And without giving us so much as a credit!

Welcome Heatherwick babies

Congratulations to Thomas Heatherwick and Maisie Rowe on the birth of their beautiful twins Moss Alexander and Vera Rose!