Auping, bed factory. In 1888, Johannes Auping, a smith from Deventer, developed a bed for the Sint-Geertruiden Hospital based on twisted and braided iron wires and developed machines to produce this ‘hygienic bed’. His customers were hospitals and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. A new factory was opened in 1912.
In the early 1950s, Auping launched a series of new beds that broke with traditional form, were desirable and also had a less heavy, cheaper, construction. ‘We managed to do this thanks to many studies, much preparation and carefully exploring the market’, the company stated in an article in 1957. Auping then worked with André Cordemeyer as designer. The first result of the new policy was the sofa bed Arielle (1953), followed by Cleopatra (1954), Ledibelle and Clipper. Auping also produced bedroom furniture. In 1957, Kho Liang Ie and Wim Crouwel designed a remarkable stand for Auping at the autumn fair in Utrecht.
In addition to Cordemeyer, the company also worked with Jac. Vogels and Friso Kramer, but it had a particularly good long-term cooperation with Frans de la Haye, resulting in the classic Auronde bed (1973-present). De la Haye recalled in Items no. 2 (1995) that the director F.G. Savenije (1922-1995) was ‘one of those entrepreneurs whose self-interest is fully subordinate to the business interest, who placed high demands on both himself and others; this has earned him much respect.’ He praised his long-term vision and his structural attention to design and sustainability.
Design agency Total Design made a new logo for Auping in 1964, as well as furniture, stands, prints and the private home of the director Albert Auping. Today, Auping still follows a policy centred around product development and design quality, including with the cooperation of Ruud-Jan Kokke and Piet Hein Eek.
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:
– Zweeden, A.F. van ‘Industriële vormgeving heeft ook een sociale functie’,’ Nederlands Fabrikaat’ (1956) July, p. 9.