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Wim Rietveld

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Wim Rietveld (1924-1985) was the youngest son of architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld. He belonged to one of the pioneers in Industrial Design in The Netherlands.

Besides furniture he also designed agricultural machinery, boats, trains and household equipment.
“Changing the shape of the utensils’ exterior alone is not Industrial Design”, according to Rietveld in a contribution for the Winkler Prins of 1961.
"The product has to be improved as a whole. And that means function, form, price and color. Wim Rietveld accomplished the School for Crafts and after that he was trained to become an instrument maker. In 1950 he started an evening course Industrial Design at the ‘Haagse Academie’.

He combined his study with a job in the workshop of his father with whom he started working in those years. Wim Rietveld followed W.H. Gispen, who left the company in 1949, as a designer. He introduced ‘furniture for simple interiors’, in line with the thoughts of “Good Living”. At Gispen, Rietveld mainly designed office Furniture but he also designed lamps for the living room.

Fauteuil 1407 which he developed with André Cordemeijer, was awarded with a golden medial at the 10th Triënnale of Milan in 1954. His interest for the essence of products together with its techniques ensured that he worked on trailers, busses and trains between 1960 and 1971.

He designed agricultural machinery for the company Vicon and for Inventum he designed stoves, hot plates and a coffee maker. His mentality about Industrial Design: ‘well shaped, solide, practical and cheap’ joined well with the scientific objectives of the new education Industrial Design at the Technical University in Delft. In 1973 he was assigned as an extraordinary academic with the department for Industrial Design.