Bureau for Aesthetic Advice – BAA

Bureau for Aesthetic Advice (Bureau voor Aesthetische Adviezen, BAA, 1947-1952). Executive body of the Central Advice Bureau (Centraal Adviesbureau) for the applied arts and industrial design. ‘The goal of the foundation, in its broadest sense, is to aim for a revival of the applied arts and to promote good industrial design in the Netherlands.’ The bureau gave training and advice, organised exhibitions and mediated between designers and clients. It was the successor of the ISN and the predecessor of the Industrial Design Foundation (Stichting Industriële Vormgeving, SIV).
The BAA was housed at the Rokin in Amsterdam, where artists sold their work during the Second World War, and was in part established thanks to the influence of the GKf (Association of Practitioners of Applied Arts). This association for designers pointed to the large number of requests for exhibitions that they could not handle and emphasised industrial design. The BAA was funded by the government. From 1946, exhibitions were held in their building in collaboration with Goed Wonen (‘Quality Living’) and the GKf. Mrs. G. Werkman-van Leeuwen, the widow of H.N. Werkman and a teacher of applied arts, managed the bureau. She was succeeded by K. Sanders in 1947. The management board consisted of representatives of the GKf, Goed Wonen, the BNA and the Association for Art and Industry (BKI). There was an advisory body for the assignments. Sanders left to join the SIV in 1950, after which the BAA was led by Mien Harmsen. The building was also used as an exhibition space for Goed Wonen. The bureau was liquidated in 1952. Board members and others involved included W.J.B.H. Sandberg, J. Bommer, W.H. Gispen, W.F. Gouwe, E. van Osselen, P. Zwart and B. Merkelbach.

The Dutch version of this biography is taken from the book Visies op vormgeving, het Nederlandse ontwerpen in teksten deel 2: 1940-2000 (2008) by Frederike Huygen. The following sources have been used for this biography:
– Sanders, K. ‘De taak van het Bureau voor Aesthetische Adviezen’, Forum 3 (1948) 3-4, pp. 82-84.