29-10 / 31-12 2000
Kho Liang Ie
Kho Liang Ie is known
as one of the most exceptional industrial designers in The Netherlands.
Between 1955 and 1975 he played a vital role in stimulating both designers
and manufacturers to join forces and work closer together.
For two years we worked
very closely with the architect D. Zuiderhoek and with groups of people
from many different disciplines. By listening and talking we got the barriers
out of the way. We even organized two symposia on this subject with the
help of experts of man's behaviourism, management people and designers.
The pleasure of our work this time was not primarily the aesthetics of
it, but to bring order in space where people can freely move their furniture,
where flexibility is a guarantee for a new sort of replacement. The only
grid is for electric power and telephone connections. On our survey we
found that in all big offices in one technical way or another it is necessary
to have some kind of "baffle" system underneath the ceiling for acoustical
reasons, in most various structures from rectangular to polygonal. We
found that this endless ceiling is irritating from the perceptive point
of view, which is why we designed for Phonogram a system based on a wave
with an amplitude of 120 cm, with the lighting installed in the top together
with the air exhaust, and on the bottom the input of fresh air. The acoustic
panels in the sloping parts give almost the same effect as a "baffle ceiling".
It was worth investing quite a lot of money to carry out the experiment
on the air-conditioning system in Sweden. We tried to create a monochrome
environment only in sand colors up to dark brown, all edges, skirtings,
door-handles and the staircase in stainless steel. The only real aesthetics
luxury we allowed ourselves was the main staircase area connecting all
floors, which we numbered by S for sousterrain, P for parterre, 1,2 and
3, adding at the groundfloor Kees Fransse's apple relief, a block print
on silk by Carel Visser on the first floor, a hard edge from Jan van Goethem
on the second floor. For the coffee corners in the main working areas
we tried to redesign the most ugly drink- and coffee-machines into clean
hygienic humanlike units. We selected sub-tropical plants from southern
Europe to provide the smell of nature. One year after the opening we have
the feeling the system is working(?) and maybe you can see the results
in Jan Versnel's photographs, or if you come and visit and talk with the
people in the office.
Kho Liang Ie