Despite producing well over 50 different furniture models, the Finnish design company Artek, is perhaps still best known for the distinctive furniture, lamps and textiles designed by the renowned architect and designer Alvar Aalto.
Whilst puritans might say that Alvar Aalto’s designs should be enjoyed in the original naked wood in which they were designed, Artek is continuing the Aalto tradition by re-issuing his designs in a variety of bold new styles. lifeiscarbon® love several of the recent Artek releases such as the Artek Classics in primary colors and their new sustainable Bamboo range. Given our liking for all things monochromatic, we especially love the recent Artek White and Artek Glossy Black collections. Take a look below at some images from each of the collections and read more about the Artek company:
"Form is a mystery that defies description but brings people pleasure." - Alvar Aalto
Artek was founded in 1935 by the visionary modern architect Alvar Aalto together with three of his fellow young Finns (Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl). The purpose of the company was "to trade in furniture and to promote modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other means." Alvar Aalto himself began designing furnishings as a natural extension to his architectural thinking and created his first pieces in 1931-32 for the tuberculosis sanatorium at Paimio.
Whilst the Artek company was primarily set up to market Aalto's furniture, lamps and textiles, it was always more than simply a commercial enterprise. Artek also aimed to develop the expression of its founders' modernistic spirit and has from the beginning been something of an industrial arts center in which art and design trends of the time converge. Artek continues to function in the same way to this day and has solidified its position as a center for design by keeping a close watch on evolving fashions, lifestyle changes and industrial developments.
Artek is still headquartered in Finland, although these days the company is owned by the Swedish based investment group Proventus AB, and continues to have close links to the Alvar Aalto Foundation. Indeed, royalties from Artek sales help support the Foundation's work with new architecture and design.