March 18th - May 13th 2001

Ton Haas

Ton Haas was contacted by the Fair Trade organization in the Netherlands to be one of their design consultants. One of his major comments on Fair Trades' existing collection, although beautiful, was that their products were to much "tourists souvenir type" and not enough functional. He advised Fair Trade to set up projects with designers to develop new products which are more suitable for use in Western environments. The interesting thing for him as a designer is to find the right balance between authentic native art and western functionality. The designs proposals he made for these desk-accessories were inspired by local African forms and traditions.
Haas went to Kenya and visited the Kissi soapstone region to set up a workshop with some 30 carvers. The items which were produced during this workshop are shown on the exhibition. Also will be seen new products from projects in South America. Ton Haas' products are characterised by their respect for the user, translated into clarity in form and material. His work shows large diversity in subject, function and execution.

After studying at several academies, including the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem and the Kingston Polytechnic London, Ton Haas was co-founder and partner of several industrial studio's. Ton Haas is active within his own company since 1993.