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Friso Kramer

Friso Kramer was born in Amsterdam in 1922. After studying successively at the Montessori School, the Industrieschool and the Elektrotechnische School, he followed a course in interior architecture at the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs (Institute for Education in Arts and Crafts) in Amsterdam.

He started working in 1945, for Bureau J.P. Kloos, and cooperated briefly with the Frans Paulussen bureau for interior architecture. In the period from 1948 to 1963 he was employed as a designer by De Cirkel, a manufacturer of steel furniture that became part of the Ahrend group in 1939. He founded the Total Design bureau in 1963, together with Wim Crouwel, Benno Wissing, Paul and Dick Schwartz. He was on the staff of the Ahrend Group from 1971 to 1983, with the title Art Director.

Friso Kramer also had many administrative functions. He was on the Board of the Rietveld Academy and of Boosting (the Dutch Foundation for Industrial Construction) and was a member of the Amsterdamse Kunstraad (Amsterdam Art Council), the Raad voor Industriële Vormgeving (Dutch Industrial Design Council) and the International Design Consortium. He was further a visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in The Hague and was on the jury for many international awards.

Friso Kramer’s well known designs include his two concrete benches with low and high backs installed in public spaces in Deventer, Schiphol, Hoorn and Amsterdam among other places, his redesign of the Revolt chair (1993), the FKS stackable chair and table, and pots for plants and trees commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam (1998). A retrospective exhibition of his work was held in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1977 and 1978, and another in the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam in 1991.

In 1979 Friso received the title 'Royal Designer for Industry' by de RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London.The latter year also saw the publication of the book "Friso Kramer Industriële Vormgeving" (Friso Kramer’s industrial design). He was appointed Officer in the order of Oranje Nassau in 1994.