Ask any Dutch designlover about Artifort and they immediately will give you some names of world famous furniture pieces like the ‘Orange slice’ and ‘The Mushroom’ by Pierre Paulin, both models from 1960. While finding famous Danish design pieces in almost every Danish household, in Holland we grew up with Artifort. Artifort is best known for producing timeless design of good quality that stays in families for decades, gets reupholstered ten or twenty years later and can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou.
Artifort has a rich history dating back to 1890 when Jules Wagemans started a business as an upholsterer in Maastricht. The next generation expanded the company into a furniture factory, which had a showroom in Amsterdam by the end of the nineteen twenties, they were already well known nationally by then. Artifort’s breakthrough came at the beginning of the nineteen-thirties when the company started to use Epeda interior springing, woven from a single steel wire adding an even higher level of comfort while saving in production time.
With the arriving of interior and furniture designer Kho Liang le in the sixties who recruited top designers such as the French designer Pierre Paulin who introduced new techniques and constructions, Geoffrey Harcourt, René Holten and Patrick Norguet the company gained international fame. Many of the models made in these years are still in production alongside newer design by Khodi Feiz with an almost Scandinavian feel and the industrial stools with leather upholstery by Studio Ilse.
Artifort factory visit
The Artifort collection is bold and colourful and after being invited to work with the brand and visit their factory in Schijndel, and their upholstery department just across the Belgium border, I first thought it would be to colourful for my taste. Was I wrong, as almost every chair and couch can be customized choosing from a large collection of fabric and different colours and finishes from wood to stainless steel or powder coated in different colours.
Welcomed in the showroom and after a tour through the factory in Schijndel we went to Lanaken where we met the many craftsmen and women responsible for the upholstery of every single piece. I have visited different factories in many countries and feeling the passion of people creating a piece of furniture together that will find it’s way to a happy new owner is one of the things I really like. Every single person has it’s own task and you can see the experience and love for the product.
After a day of getting to know Artifort together with Anki and Casper, Suus, Theo Bert and Marloes I discovered Artifort is not just the orange chair I remember seeing all my life. In a few weeks I will receive a real Artifort design piece, can you guess my choice? Stay tuned for more including a giveaway on the blog in collaboration with Artifort. Thanks Zilverblauw and Artifort for the fun day!