Prof. Dr. Carl Hundhausen, Director and Member of the Board of the Krupp company, at his desk.
Karl Arnold, Minister President of the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach during the formal opening of "Haus Industrieform" at Villa Hügel on 5 October 1955

1954 - 1960: The idea takes shape

On 30 July 1954, at the initiative of Prof. Dr. Carl Hundhausen, a Director and member of the board of the Krupp company, the non-profit association "Industrieform e. V." was founded by the Confederation of German Industry to create a permanent exhibition of elegant industrial products. Right from the start, the project was supported by industry, searching for new communication concepts for its dialogue with the public and consumers.

One year previously, the Krupp family had opened part of their residence, the "little house" at Villa Hügel, to the public, and provided the newly formed association "Industrieform" with the sum of DM 150,000 for its conversion and furnishing. The association remained independent and rented the premises in the following years. Right from the start, not only products from the steel industry were displayed, but also consumer goods such as radios, telephones, crockery, chairs and textiles.

On 5 October 1955, the world's first "Permanent Show of Elegant Industrial Products" was inaugurated by the newly founded association with the support of the Krupp family. It immediately received worldwide attention. The design award was also presented for the first time, and has since been awarded each year. The award-winning products - as is still customary - were integrated in the permanent exhibition.