Nederlandische Bond voor Kunst in Industrie

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(BKI: Dutch Association for Art in Industry, established 1924)

The BKI was established in 1924 in collaboration with the newly established (1921) Instituut voor Bond voor Sieren Nijverheidskunst (ISK, Institute of Decorative and Industrial Art). Although associated with progressive Dutch companies such as the Amsterdam‐based Metz & Co. and Rotterdam‐based NV Gispen Fabrik voor Metaalbewerking (See W. Gispen & Co.), it failed to have more than a modest impact on design in mass production as it was often felt in such quarters to be somewhat elitist and aesthetically preoccupied rather than fully committed to modern manufacturing technologies. One of the BKI's principal means of promoting its ideals was the medium of exhibitions, the most significant of which was the Dutch Industries Fair at Utrecht although, perhaps significantly, the BKI did not exhibit in that forum until 1936. After the Second World War the BKI continued to participate in exhibitions but in 1951 was merged with the Stichting Industriële Vormgeving (SIV, Industrial Design Foundation, established 1949) to form the Instituut Industriële Vormgeving (IIV, Institute of Industrial Design). In 1951 this organization had the affiliation of 50 companies, which may have played a role emphasizing the vicissitudes of commercial life rather than the more ethereal economic potential of aesthetically sensitized products. In 1954 the IIV became the Instituut Industriële voor Vormgeving (IIV, Institute for Industrial Design), had 140 affiliates, and was given an enhanced government subsidy. However, during the 1960s the government asked an increasing number of questions about the efficacy of the organization, with further currency given to the idea that if it was important to industry then it should be financed by industry rather than be dependent on state subsidy. Such funding uncertainties had a significant effect on the Centrum Industriële Vormgeving (CIV, Centre for Industrial Design) in Amsterdam, which the IIV had a hand in establishing in 1962. The IIV lasted until 1976 when government subsidies ceased.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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