Gerrit Rietveld was born in Utrecht, Netherlands, where he lived and worked all his life. After learning cabinet making from his father, he trained as an architectural draftsman, becoming an architect in 1919. Rietveld joined De Stijl, a Dutch Modernist design movement which held fast to rules relating colors to their symbolic meanings, promoting primary colors and simple forms and tried to reduce objects to their essential forms. Their collective aim was to achieve perfect balance between humanity and society, and between society and nature through humanity’s physical relationship to space. Inspired by the principles of De Stijl, Rietveld translated paintings by De Stijl artists like Piet Mondrian into three dimensional, useful objects, like his famous “Red & Blue” chair of 1917.