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About J.J.M. Hoogervorst

portrait of J.J.M. Hoogervorst

Johannes Joseph Maria (Jan) Hoogervorst was born on April 14, 1918 in Alkmaar. After secondary school, Jan studied Architecture and remained faithful to the Hoogervorst tradition. The name Hoogervorst comes from ‘rokpan’, the frost roof tile. Jan Hoogervorst was a talented draftsman / painter. He was a member of the illustrious Kees Verwey group from Haarlem. Ultimately, after the occupation, his creativity culminated in a career as a designer. In the beginning he copied furniture for catalogs of furniture manufacturers. This is how Jan rolled into the design world. Furniture first and later light fittings. In the early 1950s he met Ilse Liebert of ANVIA at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. From that moment on, a long-term cooperation starts. Jan Hoogervorst was not affiliated with the ANVIA factory, but had his own design agency, Interdesign. ANVIA was a regular client for whom he designed a new collection every year until the early 1980s. Jan Hoogervorst traveled all over the world to gain inspiration for ANVIA, among others. Jan Hoogervorst’s mostly organic designs from the early years of his design career are therefore clearly inspired and influenced by progressive Italian lighting companies such as Arredoluce, Stilnovo and Arteluce. He is also sometimes called the Dutch crown prince of the Italian design king Gino Sarfatti. His later designs are characterized much more by purity and functionality, with a great sense of proportion but also strongly Calvinistic. Jan Hoogervorst is now seen by many as one of the greatest Dutch “mid-century” designers. No background in training at a design academy, but a passionate and skilled craftsman like other well-known designers such as Piet Zwart, Andries Copier and Floris Meydam. Many lamps designed by JJM Hoogervorst have become true collector’s items, including one of the most iconic lamps from the Dutch lighting industry, the famous fishing rod lamp. But also other models such as the floor lamp 8025 or the desk lamp 6019. And who does not know the famous and timeless bedside lamp? Many hospitals were equipped with this light. In addition to the designs for ANVIA, Hoogervorst also designed other luminaires and ornaments. He worked with well-known interior designers, such as Carel Wiertz and Kho Liang I. This included interior lighting for theaters, conference centers (RAI and The Hague), offices (ING), churches, cinemas, ships (the Rotterdam) and public spaces. . For example, Interdesgin secured a mega job for Schiphol in 1967. At the new Schiphol airport, light boxes had to be placed above all corridors, entrances and exits, counters, etc. Uniform light was of great importance. Philips, Siemens and Hoogervorst, with his company Interdesign, were allowed to show their light box. After being assigned to Interdesign, the big fellow players made an attempt to acquire the company. But in the end, the company remained independent and the big order was cleared with verve in 1968. He also designed the waste bins for Schiphol that are still used today. Another major project by JJM Hoogervorst was the famous hall lighting of the old Luxor theater in Rotterdam. The lighting, with almost 1000 front mirror lamps that go out smoothly while walking, still functions. Later Jan Hoogervorst became a distributor for the English Thorn Lighting together with his son and they developed two special stage spots. Thanks to his son’s knowledge of electronics, a successful leg for electronically controlled stage lighting could be added to Interdesign. In 1980 Jan went to Canada on vacation to visit his sister and is almost amazed at the corniness of the lighting fixtures. According to him there was a world to win. He decided to emigrate to Canada and start a lighting industry there à la ANVIA. Unfortunately, Jan had an incurable illness just before his departure. Three months later, on September 28, 1982, JJM Hoogervorst died, aged 64. Jan Hoogervorst, a special and versatile man.