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More or Less is an exhibition of work by Maarten Baas
More or Less is an exhibition of work by Maarten Baas

Maarten Baas wraps jet in denim for G-Star RAW

Dutch designer Maarten Baas has collaborated with brand G-Star RAW to create an exhibition at Milan design week that comprises a denim-wrapped private plane and jean-shaped cabinetry.

Titled More or Less, the exhibition intends to highlight the possibilities of denim outside of garment production as well as discuss habits of overconsumption and the need for more and less.

More or Less is an exhibition of work by Maarten Baas
More or Less is an exhibition of work by Maarten Baas

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a fifteen-metre-long private jet that was covered entirely in recycled G-Star RAW jeans to form a denim skin across its surface.

"I like the inner dialogue that we all have. We want more, we want luxury, and we're all consumers and at the same we might feel guilty and there's this call for less," Baas told Dezeen. "Instead of acting as if we're saving the world with some green design, we prefer addressing the duality."

Photo of the denim plane
Baas made a plane from denim

Baas used panels of waste G-Star denim in varying shades and tones which were bolted to the exterior of the plane in an almost ad-hoc placement to create a patchwork-like skin across its body.

The designer told Dezeen that he wanted to use the opportunity to comment on the contradictions made by those in power and their stances on sustainability.

Photo of denim panels at More or Less
Denim covers the plane in panels

"Each year in Davos there's a discussion about 1,500 private jets flying there for people to talk about sustainability," said Baas. "That's a great joke, that I could emphasise by making this private jet, the symbol of luxury and consumption, out of recycled materials."

"A private jet is the ultimate symbol of the 'More Or Less' dilemma," he continued. "Each year in Milan, I enjoy the tragicomic dialogue between green design and mass consumption."

Photo of the denim plane
The plane is 15 metres long

"When G-Star approached me to work with recycled jeans, it was the perfect opportunity to address this funny duality instead of just acting as if we're saving the world," said Baas.

"We're all part of it, as we flew to Milan to enjoy our prosecco next to some works of recycled materials. We are not saving the world but are we making strides?"

Baas also created a trio of cabinets for the exhibition, which were designed to mimic the shape of jeans in a nod to the denim used to construct the furniture pieces.

Each of the cabinets was constructed using a textile board made from recycled G-Star jeans which were sourced from G-Star stores as part of a denim recycling programme.

Photo of denim cabinetry at More or Less
The exhibition also includes cabinetry

The textile board material was developed by Kvadrat Really, the textile innovator arm of Danish textile company Kvadrat.

"I thought it was fun to play around with the recycled denim board material we used, made out of old G-Star Jeans," said Baas.

Photo of an open denim cabinet
The cabinets are jean-shaped

"The cabinets are made of recycled denim board material. We collected old G-Star jeans from the Return your Denim program; the in-store collection of jeans in Europe," he continued.

"Kvadrat Really who upcycles end-of-life textiles into high-quality materials suitable for interior projects, created recycled denim board material from these old G-Star jeans. With this plate material, we eventually created the cabinets in Amsterdam."

Photo of the interior of the cabinet
They are made from waste denim

American designer Harry Nuriev used denim across a collection of furniture that was exhibited at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris.

Also taking place at Milan design week, architect Shigeru Ban has created a space from paper tubes, which is used to exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright lamps.

More or Less is on show from 18 to 23 April 2023 at Chiesa San Paolo Converso, Piazza Sant'Eufemia 1, Milan. See our Milan design week 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.