Centrum Industriële Vormgeving

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(CIV) (1962–70)

The Dutch Centre for Industrial Design (CIV) was established with the backing of the Ministry of Economic Affairs under the auspices of the Instituut voor Industriële Vormgeving (IIV, Institute of Industrial Design) and the newly founded (1960) Council of Industrial Design (Raad voor Industriële Vormgeving). The latter included representation from industry, the retailing and educational sectors, and the design profession. Located in H. P. Berlage's celebrated Amsterdam Stock Exchange (1898–1903) with M. Beck as director this national centre was opened by Princess Beatrix in 1962 and became a showpiece for well‐designed Dutch products selected by committee. The permanent exhibition space contained about 400 products from about 120 manufacturers and, following the model of the state‐funded Design Centre (established in 1956) in London, also held an index of goods. There were also temporary exhibitions, the first of which, The Laid Table in Nine Countries, was highly controversial in the fact that Dutch manufacturers felt that a nationally funded enterprise should not promote foreign goods at their expense. From an early stage it was fraught with financial difficulties and repeatedly went back to government departments for additional funding. Nonetheless, despite its promotion of ‘Good Design’ and its often didactic approach, it was well attended by the public, who were keen to see the ways in which designers might improve the domestic living environment through new designs for furnishings, lighting, and kitchen and bathroom equipment. By 1968 the position of the IIV and the Centre for Industrial Design had become very difficult and the Ministry of Economic Affairs intervened sufficiently to lead to the closure of the centre in 1970.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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