Gerrit Rietveld

Rietveld was a Dutch furniture designer, born in Utrecht. Son of a carpenter, he was trained by P. J. C. Klaarhamer before becoming a member of De Stijl group. His universally known Red and Blue Chair, built of wooden strips and rectangles, was conceived in 1918, before Rietveld came into contact with Mondrian or Van Doesburg. His work was first illustrated in De Stijl magazine in 1919 but it was not until 1923 that the chair was painted in the three primary colors. In the 1920s, Rietveld gradually began to concentrate on mechanized production to create low-cost furniture. He later designed a series of furniture composed of wooden laths that was called “crate furniture.” They were available flat-packed at the department store Metz & Co., to be assembled by the consumers themselves. His interiors have been oriented toward the optimal utilization of the space. His first interior designed in 1924, the Rietveld-Schröderhuis, was an exercise in the “liberation of superfluous objects” and in the modularity of the space. Later on in the decade, Rietveld delved into public housing and designed a few small interiors and several model houses. He was a founding member of the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne-CIAM (the International Congresses of Modern Architecture) in 1928.

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