Furniture Design

Chic Modern Furniture Designs with a History



By Artifort of the Netherlands

This remarkable company’s massive range of chic modern furniture designs has a timeless quality.  In fact many furniture items have become modern classics due to their enduring appeal. Originally derived from the Latin word ‘ars’, meaning art or knowledge, and ‘fortis’ meaning strong or powerful,Artifort has become a world-famous brand name.  It stands in equal measures for Art and Comfort. A succession of distinguished designers has shaped the typical Artifort project since the mid 20th century. These include: Kho Liang Ie, Pierre Paulin, Geoffrey Harcourt, René Holten and Patrick Norguet.


The comprehensive collection of furniture designs to emerge from the Artifort workshops includes; seating, storage units, tables.  The epitome of form and function, Artifort furniture remains a favorite for interior designers in domestic and commercial settings

A Brief History of Artifort’s Chic Modern Furniture Production


Artifort can trace its origins way back to 1890 when Jules Wagemans established an upholstery business in Maastricht. Later, his son, Henricus Wagemans, extended the firm’s activities and set up a furniture factory.  By the end of the 1920’ their showroom in Amsterdam had achieved international recognition for style and quality.  It was during this period in 1928 that the Artifort brand name was launched.  It is testament to Artifort’s quality and stylish appeal that the company survived the devastating economic recession of the 1930’s.  Adopting a memorable brand name and logo was a smart move at this time, this combined with highly distinctive designs ensured Artifort’s survival and continued success.

Modern Furniture with original forms and lines


A major breakthrough for Artifort came at the start of the nineteen-thirties when the forward thinking company started to use ‘Epeda’ interior springing.  This technical advance had previously only been used in car seating and mattresses.  This revolutionary development replaced the traditional horsehair, straw and kapok construction techniques.   The use of a new manufacturing technique improved not only efficiency of production but also enabled designers to explore new more advanced and chic modern furniture styles using materials that were more durable and better able to hold innovative shapes.

Leading Designers Create Chic Modern Furniture for Changing Eras


The distinguished designer Kho Liang Ie’s input and influence ensured that Artifort’s products moved with the times through the changing lifestyle demands of the 1960’s and 1970’. In fact his impact is till apparent in contemporary catalogues.  The focus on aesthetics as well as function is what keeps Artifort in the global spotlight.  A succession of new designers ensures that the Artifort portfolio is always fresh and appropriate for the continually changing demands of the consumer.

Modern Furniture design for dining room


Following on from Kho Liang Ie, Pierre Paulin designs introduced a fresh and youthful appeal. His brightly colored seating was distinctively sculptural their innovative shapes “raised eyebrows at home and abroad”. Even now it is these pieces that are identified as definitive of the Artifort collection.  Another change in construction techniques and materials enabled the production of Paulin’s novel ideas.  This time foam covered metal tubes were united with stretch fabrics. Paulin met Jack Lenor Larsen in 1967and in collaboration they were the forerunners of a global design revolution in relation to the use of form, materials and textiles.


Artifort has remained a leading player in the international furniture market for so long because it keeps reinventing its products.  The firm continually employs the talents of young and vibrant designers to work alongside the more established names.  However, it never loses sight of its fundamental philosophy which is that

Design, functionality and quality go hand in hand”

Perhaps one of the highest accolades that a design company can achieve is when their work becomes part of an international gallery or museum’s collection. In this case examples of chic modern furniture by Artifort leading designers can be seen in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

by Jaz

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