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Gerrit T. Rietveld

Gerrit T. Rietveld
Utrecht, 1888 - 1964

A Dutch architect, born in Utrecht in 1888 who died in 1964. He was the son of a cabinet maker craftsman, from whom he learnt the trade, opening his own workshop in 1911. Although Rietveld began designing chairs as early as 1900, his first important design masterpiece; the Rood/Blauw chair was not actually produced until 1918. The aim behind its creation being that of demonstrating that an object of aesthetic worth can be machine-made using linear materials. Its severe and angular geometry and the use of primary colours being perfectly in line with the principles of the \"De Stijl\" even with designs such as the \"Berlin chair \" and the \"Military series \". His designs featuring a blend of painstaking aesthetic research, and the desire to take full advantage of particular materials for a truly economic and mechanized production. He was involved in the experimentation of new techniques and new materials throughout his career, from the chair dated 1942, made of a single aluminium sheet, to the “Unesco“ chair dated del 1958, that was fully upholstered in foam rubber. Rietveld in fact acquired his inspiration directly from the material, in the same way as a sculptor, “ and not starting from the drawing board”. His design featuring a combination of aesthetic appreciation and the desire to exploit the advantages provided by certain materials for a mechanized and economical production output.