Bas van Beek (b. 1974) is an experimental designer whose work touches on design, architecture, visual art and commerce. He challenges generally accepted ideas about design, including the notion that exclusive design is equivalent to ‘good taste’, and the idea that design classics must not be copied or changed. With great humour and wit, he seeks ways of giving existing production processes and designs new meanings. Van Beek is not afraid of controversy.
In 2008, for example, he prompted a debate on the value of Dutch Design by combining the vase that Hella Jongerius designed for IKEA with one of the cheapest vases from the Swedish retail giant’s range (Simulacra (Hacking IKEA), 2008). With the support of the Stokroos Ceramics Stipend, he will be presenting a retrospective of his work in ceramics and glass at Kunstmuseum Den Haag. It will include a new coffee service that he has designed specially for the museum. The exhibition will also feature the museum’s own twentieth-century ceramics and glass collection, including the breakfast service of pressed glass designed by Berlage and Piet Zwart.