Cees Braakman

Cees Braakman, born in the Netherlands in 1917 and died in 1995, was probably the most influential Dutch designer of his time. His career as a furniture designer stated very early at the age of 17, at UMS Pastoe. After the second world war, Braakman found his way to the United States to study American design and production processes. Being particularly inspired by the works of the Eames at Herman Miller, Braakman introduced the bent plywood techniques to Pastoe and created their first line of modern furniture. Moreover, he created a clear and coherent collection of furniture conceived as functional objects, which put Pastoe on the map. He was closely affiliated to the Pastoe concern as he was head of the design team from 1945 to 1978.
Just like Frank Lloyd Wright before the war, the Dutchman was influenced by japanese standards like the simple long, flat areas and the absence of decoration.

As a result a visit to Japan led to its design of the ‘Japanese desk’. That simplicity was appropriate in the sixties in the Netherlands as well, the time of rebuilding. In spite of rising prosperity, the budgets for house decoration were still limited. His designs were highly appreciated in Japan too.

“For me, the challenge lies in finding ways to fuse technical perfection with aesthetic form.”

-Cees Braakman-