Eindhoven Academy of Industrial Design – later Design Academy Eindhoven

The Eindhoven Academy of Industrial Design (Academie voor Industriële Vormgeving Eindhoven, AIVE), later the Design Academy, started out in 1950, led by René Smeets, as an evening school so as to provide designers for the industry. After a study trip in the United States, Smeets followed the educational model of the Pratt Institute for the day programme that started in 1955. This consisted of a general basic course followed by a specialisation in product design, product presentation or textile design. The school had well-equipped workshops. Teachers included Emile Truijen, Wim Gilles, Frans van der Put, Cees Houtman and Karel Elno. Systematic and programmatic design became the main focus during the 1960s, particularly because of the input of Gilles, the example of the German design school in Ulm, and education in Poland. Gilles was the director from 1970 to 1973 and was succeeded by Cees Houtman, who left because of conflicts in 1981. Ulf Moritz, who led the textile department since 1971, gave the department its own identity. Jan Lucassen, the director from 1983 to 1999, made a new curriculum in consultation with Moritz and Jan van Duppen, with the the user and the semantic aspects of the product as the starting point. This resulted in a number of specialisations in 1984: man and labour, man and environment, man and nutrition, man and leisure, man and transport, man and information. The designing aspect of the profession was put at the centre. New teachers were Marijke van der Wijst, Gijs Bakker, Lou Beeren, Frans de la Haye and Anthon Beeke. Trends and styling were also added to the curriculum. Lucassen managed to maintain the school’s independence, preventing mergers with others, and founded a European Design Centre (1992). He also had an eye for publicity and exhibited students’ graduation work at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. The AIVE changed its name to Design Academy Eindhoven in the late 1990s and was led by trend watcher Lidewij Edelkoort and Liesbeth in ‘t Hout from 1999 onwards. They emphasised flexibility and confronted students with many changing influences and ideas through numerous teachers and guest lecturers, while also stimulating unconventional thinking, discussions and contact with the visual arts. In addition, Edelkoort had a large network and many international contacts.

To show how the students’ work and education has changed over the years, the archives of teachers and students from various periods will be collected.
René Smeets – director and teacher 1950-1972
Wim Gilles – director and teacher
Frans van der Put – board member, teacher and student 1950-1954
Jan van Onna – teacher 1970-1990
Edward Aghina – teacher
Herman Rademaker – teacher
Ruud Nordt – student 1960-1965

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:
– Heuvel, J. van den ‘AIVE, een academie in verandering’, Items 8 (1989) 31, pp. 36-42.
– Eger, A.O. ‘Jan Lucassen’, ‘Product’ (2005) Nov., pp. 12-14.
– Schouwenberg, L., Staal, G. (ed.) ‘House of Concepts. Design Academy Eindhoven’ (2008).