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Maarten Baas Makes Time, Sergio Herman Makes Food

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Dutch Design Week, designer Maarten Baas and Michelin-starred chef Sergio Herman have combined forces to create a temporary restaurant as part of a multidisciplinary exhibition.

Fifteen years ago, in October 2001, the inaugural Dutch Design Week (DDW) took place in Eindhoven. That same year, renowned Dutch designer Maarten Baas launched his now famous Smoke series – in which he charred and treated old furniture to create striking, new pieces –as part of his graduate project at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Five years later, he launched his equally iconic CLAY series, a range of furniture made using a metal skeleton clad with synthetic clay.

So, with a few anniversaries to celebrate, Baas decided it was party time. The designer has teamed up with Michelin-starred Dutch chef, Sergio Herman, to create a temporary restaurant, which is open for just eight evenings during this year’s DDW. The pop-up is part of MAARTEN BAAS MAKES TIME, an interdisciplinary exhibition for DDW exploring the theme of time.

The pop-up restaurant and exhibition will be located in the industrial VDMA garages in the centre of Eindhoven, which Baas has transformed into a creative melting pot of theatre, gastronomy, music, performance, photography, visual arts, fashion, poetry, illustration and design. The festivities will take place in a pop-up party tent full of streamers and balloons.

“Design is an ugly word for a whole collection of beauties,” says Baas about the multidisciplinary approach to the exhibition. “It’s the lubricant between different disciplines and makes it an accessible whole. Everything can come together to detonate a massive creative explosion.”

Baas has also designed a new collection of tableware especially for the experience. Herman – head chef of Michelin-starred restaurants The Jane and Pure C – has put together a festive menu that celebrates his signature dishes.

“This collaboration is about the celebration of creation and about boundless ideas,” says Herman. “But it’s also just as much about discipline, determination and dreams of how it all could be.”

Alongside the dining experiences – which are held each night of DDW – the exhibition showcases the work of a host of Dutch designers, including Atelier NL, Jurgen Bey, Joost van Bleiswijk, and Kiki van Eijk. There will also be a preview of Baas’ upcoming book, Hide & Seek, and the world premiere of new work by the designer for London’s Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

The ambitious undertaking was realised in collaboration with Dutch theatre director and founder of De Kwekerij production company, Joris van Midde, who describes himself as having “a great love of alienation, the absurd and macabre atmospheres”.

“It all started with the idea to do something during Dutch Design Week,” says Baas. “I asked Sergio if he could make something on a plate I designed. From there we went on, making a lot of ideas how to make this a special week full of special evenings for everybody.”

Guests lucky enough to get a ticket to one of the dinners (it’s quickly selling out) will be welcomed to the space by Baas himself, and can expect an entertaining and immersive experience. According to the duo, there will also be plenty of champagne, wine, streamers, and balloons.

“This will be more than a meal, it will be a guided tour by me, exclusive for the guests of the evenings,” says Baas. “The exhibition will show new works by me, and some other top artists and young talents from Holland. But it’s also more than an exhibition. A theatrical performance and live music will give an unforgettable evening for everybody.”

DDW takes place every October in Eindhoven, and is the biggest design event in Northern Europe, presenting the work of over 2,500 designers to more than 275,000 visitors from around the world. This year’s event takes place from 22-30 October.

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