Bas van Beek

  • product design
  • the Netherlands
  • 3 june
  • National Palace of Culture

Bas van Beek has a problem with the Dutch design scene. To begin with, he has a problem with the design scene in general. He thinks it hardly relates to what is happening in the real world. 

Bas claims that design today boils down to the same names lacking any original ideas producing the same trendy "designer" objects that they sell in limited editions for the same sky-high prices to the bourgeois and newly rich while receiving the same enthusiastic reviews from non-critical critics.
"A romantic comedy", “a circus,” “a petit bourgeois farce”, "elitist" and "anti-democratic" are only some of the qualifications he has for it, while he calls most people involved in it morons or idiots.
The l'enfant terrible of the Dutch design scene graduated from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam with a 3D scan of his own faeces. “It was a critique on computer generated architecture,” he explains.
Naturally, this provoked a huge fuss, but the only thing that it eventually lead to was a change of his own mind - he gave up on design and found a "normal" job behind a desk for a few years.
He came back cautiously with a very simple set of a table and a chair that the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen bought. This inspired him to move on and his next project was Rip-offs - one of his signature works.
Rip-offs was a series of ceramic vases - half of them cover versions of expensive "designer" vases and the other half - rip-offs of much cheaper Chinese mass production vases.
Another work of the kind was 50% Discount - designer products cut in half and offered at 50% of their price (for half the design).
Generally, Bas prefers cheap mass production Ikea-style to terribly expensive limited edition items. He works a lot with wood, glass, ceramics and most of all harsh criticism.
However, he does believe that there are good ideas and talented designers on the Dutch scene and he still has hope for the future.

The title of his talk is The magical world of Basney

basvanbeek.com

 


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