Artek was created to sell and market Aalto’s furniture, lamps and textiles internationally. Artek produced quality furniture with a focus on function, durability and pure design. Alvar and Aino Aalto’s soft, humane and nature-inspired design meets technical solutions and becomes Art + Technology: Artek. The brand’s design elements can be found everywhere from public places to private homes, museums, schools, restaurants, hotels, and offices.
Functional Finnish furniture design
The Artek Collection consists of furniture, lighting and accessories designed by Nordic designers such as Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala, Eero Aarnio and Yrjö Kukkapuro. Successful collaboration has also taken place with international architects, designers, and artists. Among them are Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Harri Koskinen, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.
Alvar Aalto is behind many design classics. These include Armchair 41, created for Paimio Sanatorium in 1932 (Aalto designed the entire building) and Stool 60 stacking stool, which has been in production since 1933 and is frequently copied. Stool 60 is a classic that represents the essence of functionalist furniture design with its three legs at 90° with a simple round seat on top.
Design manufacturer Vitra acquired Artek in 2013 with the strategy of becoming stronger on the international design scene—an intention already stated in its founding manifesto in 1935. Later, it collaborated with modern designers such as Shigeru Ban and Naoto Fukasawa. It also has access to the furniture designs of Ilmari Tapiovaara of Finland. Artek is considered to be among the manufacturers who have contributed the most to modern furniture design, blazing a new trail in the fields of design, architecture, and art.