In memoriam: Henri-Pierre Claeys

On 13-01-2021 Henri-Pierre Claeys passed away. Henri played a significant role in the early years of ECIA. Read the obituary written by past president Roeland van der Hidde.

Obituary Henri -Pierre Claeys
1941 – January 13 2021

Former President of the FNSAI 2004 – 2007
Former Board member of IFI 1993 - 1999

Henri Claeys has played a modest but significant role in the founding and early years of ECIA. In 1988 on instigation of the General Secretary of IFI, Liesbeth Hardenberg, a small committee of European IA’s researched the necessity and possibility of a cross European organization for Interior Architecture. This loosely organized committee was in 1990 joined by Henri Claeys, and that is where I first met him. He represented France in the onset of ECIA, and did so looking at everybody around the table with a positive and hopeful look in his eyes. Enthusiast about starting something new and something European.

Later, during a memorable train ride from Paris to Amsterdam in 1991, we discussed the importance of an organization like ECIA, the role it should play. Especially the urgence for more cohesion in European Education, which was his major field of interest. When we reached Amsterdam after 5 hours we had finished the framework for it.

Henri did not join the ECIA Board in 1992, but rather joined the Board of IFI. On many occasions, however, he volunteered to advice the ECIA, and participated in writing the Education Charter, which was signed by 14 member nations in 2000. A difficult and complex subject, but one of the fundamentals for ECIA.

A regular participant of ECIA General Assemblies and present whenever we were having Board meetings in Paris, we all got to know him as a diligent and thoughtful member of our professional community. His sense of humor was an essential part of his presence, giving all serious matters a different perspective.

One cannot have enough of people like Henri Claeys, who stood with us to give shape to the profession, its education and the ECIA.
Our thoughts are with his wife Agnes and his children.

Roeland van der Hidde BNI
Past President ECIA 1992 - 1999