“It focuses on the tension between art and commerce,” says Maarten Baas of his contribution to the RoundAbout Design Route, which will be open during Dutch Design Week (DDW). The designer represents this area of tension with a shelter. On either side of an old-fashioned billboard are two bronze seats made by Eindhoven’s Beeldenstorm Foundation.

Baas is no stranger to DDW. Last year visitors could admire his work at the Stroomhuis. This year he is even an ambassador of the design week. Based on the theme of time, and titled ‘Maarten Baas makes time’, the designer is presenting an exhibition at the VDMA building on the Vestdijk. Expect a lot of art, but also plenty of gastronomy.

Baas fleshes out a temporary restaurant, Chef Sergio Herman runs the kitchen. The Chef of Michelin-starred restaurants PureC in Cadzand and The Jane in Antwerp, Herman is considered the culinary king of the Netherlands. For €195 a head, visitors can enjoy an evening lapping up the talents of Herman and Baas.

“Art and commerce rely on one another, but it’s not always a happy affair,” says Baas of the two elements. The designer hopes to join the two components hand in hand at this shelter. He wants to unite them, and then see what comes out of the direct confrontation by increasing the tension. “Two seats, bronze sculptures, which face one another, were it not for the large advertisement between them. If you sit on the seat you have nothing but that image to look at.”

For Baas, the shelter is the very embodiment of commerce. The word ‘new’ will be featured in large type to further emphasise the message. “The shelter is a cliché, the poster too. It has to be a kind of caricature of an advertisement.” The artwork can be found by V&D. “And isn’t that fitting.”

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