Kho Liang Ie
Dutch Design Heritage
Kho Liang Ie (1927-1975), interior designer and designer. Kho was born in Magelang, Indonesia, born of Chinese parents. His father was a cinema exhibitor. He came to the Netherlands in 1949 to study pedagogy, but via De Werkschuit he enrolled in the kunstnijverheidsschool (‘school for applied arts’) where he was taught by Johan Niegeman. From 1954 to 1956, he worked for the Goed Wonen (‘Quality Living’) foundation where he gave advice, designed exhibitions and furnished model homes. In addition, he was a member of the editorial board of the magazine Goed Wonen from 1957 to 1963. He became partners with Wim Crouwel (1956-1959) and they worked on interiors, stands and exhibitions for companies such as de Bijenkorf, Auping and Linoleum Krommenie. Their work was characterised by the use of striking colours and materials, and tasteful accessories.
Kho acted as an advisor and designer for a number of industries, such as Fristho, Kempkes, Artifort and CAR.
With his agency Kho Liang Ie Associates (Nel Verschuuren and Tinus van de Kerkhof), Kho was responsible for the interior design of Schiphol Airport, which was completed in 1969. He used the Dutch characteristics of seclusion, hospitality, cleanliness and simplicity as a starting point, and he argued that travellers above all need to have a quiet environment. Between 1963 and 1968, he was the chairman of GKf (Association of Practitioners of Applied Arts), where he emphasised the importance of teamwork.
The Louis Kalff Instituut is the Dutch heritage centre for industrial design, located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.