Slow Boat to China


Milan, Salone del Mobile 2009

It is hard to be indifferent towards Dutch talent Maarten Baas’s  Clay Furniture. In his latest collection (“Standard Unique”) for Established & Sons, the designer wooed our hearts again. According to Established & Sons’ journal, Baas “has created a collection of basic wooden chairs to explore the limits of factory production and to reconcile our desire for individuality from a market accustomed to mass production”. [caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="230" caption="Baas' Standard Unique as exhibited in Salone del Mobile 2009"]Baas' Standard Unique as exhibited in Salone del Mobile 2009[/caption]

At a glance, the chairs are nondescript, almost like any wooden chair you may find in anyDutch homes or cafes. As you take a second look, you will discover the unique profile of each individual chair – be it a longer backrest, or a chair foot that appears wobbly. Baas successfully transcends from the consumer’s limiting obsession with perfection to add handmade aesthetics into a product accustomed for mass production. “Standard Unique” is one of the more conceptually interesting works displayed at Salone ‘09, and hopefully it opens up the minds of viewers to perhaps consider taking a slower boat to China…or cancel the trip altogether?


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