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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 24 February 2017 > Baas Note Dutch designer Maarten Baas plays a different tune

Baas Note Dutch designer Maarten Baas plays a different tune

INTERVIEW

SETTING YOUR degree show on fire is not, perhaps, a smart move. But that’s exactly what the Dutch designer Maarten Baas did in 2002, at the end of his last year at the Netherlands’ renowned Design Academy Eindhoven. For his degree-show collection, Smoke, Baas took a blowtorch to pieces of secondhand furniture—which included some serious Baroque antiques alongside lea market junk—and then painted the charred results with epoxy resin. Half usable pieces of furniture, half art, Smoke was an instant success with the industry: In 2003, the Dutch furniture manufacturer Moooi began producing versions of three chairs and a candelabra, which it still sells today. Before long Baas was torching grand pianos, high-back chairs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the classic “zigzag” chair by Gerrit Rietveld, and high-end dealers were keen to sell his limited editions. Baas has been breaking rules ever since—as his first major retrospective, which opens in February at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, will attest.

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THE WAR ON ALZHEIMER'S This aggressive attempt to prevent Alzheimer’s rather than treating it is the most exciting new development in decades, as well as a radical departure for researchers and the pharmaceutical industry. Traditionally, drug companies have tested their therapies on patients who already have memory loss, trouble thinking and other signs of dementia. It’s been a losing tactic: More than ninety nine percent of all Alzheimer’s drugs have failed tests in the clinic, and the few that have made it to the market only ameliorate some symptoms. No single medicine has been shown to slow the relentless progression of the disease. However this new approach, even partial success an appreciable slowing of brain degeneration could have a big impact, says Dr. Reisa Sperling, a neurologist who directs the Center for Alzheimer’s Researc.
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