Ko Verzuu (1901 – 1971), a former construction supervisor from Utrecht, led the ADO workshops. In addition, he designed the cars, building blocks, games and doll furniture, that were hand-made by his team of patients.
Verzuu tested the quality of his toys on his own children. He immersed himself in art and architecture, with which he developed a strong preference for abstract lines and bright colours found in the 1920s group, De Stijl. ADO toys, therefore, are curiously avant-garde, inspired by the great artists of the time. In 2012, they were on show as part of the ‘Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000’ exhibition in MOMA, New York. The same year, the CODA museum in Aperldoorn, Netherlands, dedicated an exhibition to his designs, in which visitors were invited to assemble the toys themselves.