Atelier Artiforte was founded in 1930 in Rotterdam. Henk Fillekes was the driving force behind the innovative designs that made the company famous in the 1950s and 1960s.
Besides Fillekes' work, the collection contains designs by architects Kho Liang Ie and his teacher Johan Niegeman. RSGA Design has acquired the rights to the lighting of Atelier Artiforte. This adds a new chapter to the history of this unique collection of timeless and unaffected lighting with Dutch design tradition.
Atelier Artiforte started in August 1930 at Insulindestraat 218b in Rotterdam. The company produced electric lighting made by hand. In the first few years, they mainly produced standard lamps with fabric shades. On 16 January 1934, the company was registered at the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce. Shortly after the war, Atelier Artiforte was taken over by Henk Fillekes and Johan van Wierst.
Fillekes is the creative brain who modernises the company in the fifties and sixties. In addition to the fabric lampshades, more modern light fittings made of metal and plexiglass are added to the collection. The cocoon technique of spraying synthetic fibres onto a framework was also widely used, particularly for pendant lamps. In this period, the collection expanded to include lighting by successful designers such as Kho Liang Ie and his teacher, Bauhaus architect Johan Niegeman.
In 1962 Atelier Artiforte moves to Kortebrantstraat 16 in Rotterdam where in 1966 an exhibition space of 90m2 is opened across the street at no. 3.
After the death of Henk Fillekes in 1983 the company slowly faded into oblivion. The lamps like the Magneto and the K-46 remain popular in the vintage trade. Several reissues follow.
In 2021, Titus Darley, David Derksen, Cindy Verhoeven and Remco van der Voort took the initiative to bring the Atelier Artiforte collection back into production. The rights to the company's lighting designs have been transferred to Atelier Artiforte B.V., a subsidiary of RSGA Design. RSGA Design manages and develops design companies with a special heritage such as Rietveld Originals, Spectrum Meubelen and Gelderland.
Atelier Artiforte will expand its collection of historical classics with various existing and new designs including lamps by Aldo van den Nieuwelaar, David Derksen, Rick Tegelaar and Rachel Griffin.