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Gispen and Cordemeyer

Gispen is both a company’s name and a designer’s surname. Willem Hendrik Gispen established a manufacturing company in 1923. Apart from the founder, designers such as Wim Rietveld, André Cordemeyer, Jan Jacobs and Peter de Boer worked for this manufacturing company. Among them, Cordemeyer and Wim Rietveld, a son of Gerriet Rietveld, won the greatest fame. The Cordemeyer office chairs with characteristic triangle-shaped armrests and the Cleopatra bed (designed for the Auping manufacturing company) are iconic even today. As one of the first designers, Cordemeyer designed a plastic armchair – Gispen 416 in 1956. When introduced into the market, it was advertised as “Strawiński among armchairs”! In the same year Gispen started to manufacture this classic model again. An armchair from the 1960s was sold at Chriestie’s auction for EUR 4,375! Wim Rietveld designed industrial furniture for the Ahrend manufacturing company, including magnificent Oase armchairs. For Gispen, he designed a classic Panama lamp and a collection of chairs, armchairs and tables, in cooperation with Cordemeyer as well. Gispen is one of the few furniture factories which has its own museum (located in Culemborg – the centre of Dutch design) and a foundation popularizing its achievements. Today Gispen boasts, for example, that armchair 1407 from the collection of the manufacturing company is part of the furnishing of the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, and this is definitely a place where no random piece of furniture ends up! Gispen flagship products include armchairs, chairs and sofas with bent steel and chrome pipe frames, slightly in the Bauhaus style. Gispen office furniture is highly-valued, also literally, combining ergonomic comfort with minimalistic design. Many classic models from the 1950s and 1960s are manufactured by Gispen today.