Alvar and I

Musings about vintage design furniture

Posts Tagged ‘Wim Rietveld

From our 50’s couch

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1. Willy Van Der Meeren designed: yours for  € 400.000, including the Friso Kramer chairs (City Furniture via Reference Library)

Van der Meren

2. Two Boomerang chairs find a beautiful home (via Atelier)

3. Too fashionable now: Prouvé x G-Star Raw


Written by Alvar and I

July 11, 2011 at 2:03 am

Gerrit and Wim

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Love of clean lines in their genes and both adhered to identical principles. Such as furniture should not stand in the way of space in a room. Obviously and understandably the younger of Rietveld’s sons found great inspiration in the creations of his father.

Gerrit Rietveld was indubitably the greatest innovator, but where the son probably outdid his father is in succeeding in designing furniture for true mass-production, something also that his father strove for. Whereas Gerrit’s production was mostly made out of wood, Wim’s designs were of metal. Perhaps Rietveld senior was too ahead of its time’s production techniques: a steel prototype of the Zig-zag Chair did not work out so it ended up – nicely – made out of wood. Wim also contributed to prove that the De Stijl primary colors pallet that his father popularized for furniture will never go out of fashion…

Check out a nice sample of Wim Rietveld works at Modernfindings and also Amsterdam Modern, which inspired this post. And don’t miss this feature on Gerrit Rietveld produced by PHAIDON with an interview of Ida van Zijl the curator of the Rietveld’s Universe exhibition.

Written by Alvar and I

March 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Dutch treat

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Every modern furniture lover will drool in front masterpieces of industrial design like the Compass desk by Jean Prouve, the incredibly elegant M400 helicoidal spiral staircase from Roger Tallon, or the Mies Van der Rohe Brno chair.

Industrial design is consubstantial to the evolution of modern design. Thonet was the precursor with its No. 14 bistro chair. The Bauhaus and American schools of design (the Spring 2010 issue of Modernism has a very nice piece on Gilbert Rohde) investigated the possibilities offered by industrial production techniques to explore new forms and materials such as tubular steel and achieve the cost benefits of mass production.

Simplicity, functionality, versatility, robustness, existence outside of home, and the use of common materials come to define what is industrial furniture design, although we at Alvar and I are not entirely convinced that a satisfactory definition exists (or is needed for that matter).

Well, let us stop here since this post is not so much to write about the history of design than to celebrate the elegance of Dutch design, which we have become to be interested in lately, and not just the pioneers Mart Stam and Gerrit Rietveld.

In the 1950s true to the spirit of modernism of functional and democratic furniture, designers like Wim Rietveld, Dirk Cordemeijer, Friso Kramer, Wilhelm Gispen and Coen de Vries, for manufacturers such as Pilastro, Ahrend de Cirkel, Auping and Gispen.

In true Dutch spirit this is vintage that is practical and still affordable. We hope you will enjoy some of our favorites(from Mid Mod Design a good and friendly dealer for Dutch industrial design):

Coen de Vries¦Toonladder¦Pilastro

Dirk Cordemeijer¦Cleopatra bed¦Auping

Friso Kramer¦Revolt Chair¦Ahrend de Cirkel

Wim Rietveld¦Floor lamp¦Gispen