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Sunday marked the end of Artek's first furniture fair of 2015: imm Cologne!

We welcomed fair visitors, friends, and industry professionals to a special installation featuring Konstantin Grcic's Rival chair

An exciting addition to the Artek line, Rival was named Best Boardroom Chair 2015 by Wallpaper* Magazine. Grcic himself received the honor of  Co-Designer of the Year in the same awards.

Designed with people working from home in mind, Rival reflects its roots in the legacy of Artek with a composition of solid birch and with the circular geometry of the seat.

Callers were welcome to sit, visit, and experience the comfort and support offered by this award-winning design.

Thanks to all who made our time at imm Cologne such a success! We're very much looking forward to an exciting 2015.

Curious about more from Konstantin Grcic? See our designer spotlight on his inimitable contributions to the field. 






We at Artek prize our design heritage and take great pride in the legacy we strive to uphold. So much of our history comes from the brilliant mind of Alvar Aalto- our philosphy, our most iconic designs- that it's easy to see why we feature him often here on the blog. However, Artek and modern design at large are deeply indebted to other equally reputed, though maybe lesser-known, Finns. Here are 5 other Finnish Masters of Modern Design we've had the great fortune to call collaborators, and we'd like to introduce you to their own legacies of innovation.  

1. Aino Aalto (1894-1949)



 Aino Aalto studied architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology. She married Alvar Aalto after working in his studio for 6 months, and the pair would go on to become two of the four founding members of Artek. Aino served as the company's Managing Director from 1941-1949.  While she contributed greatly to Alvar's work as a partner and collaborator, including the famous Paimio Sanatorium, she was an artistic force in her own right best known for her work in interior design and glassware. Admired for it's clarity of design, Aino's beautiful, functional glassware is still manufactured today by Iittala

2. Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)


A multi-talented designer, Tapio Wirkkala created over 400 different art objects & glassware series alone over the 1940s-1980s. In addition to these works, Wirkkala designed furniture, lighting, and industrial objects such as beer bottles and bank notes. His prolific and diverse body of work received many awards over the course of his career, including at least 4 Grand Prix medals at the Milan Triennale. Wirkkala, whose 100th birthday we celebrate in 2015, was one of the most distinguished artists to shape Scandinavian design and industrial art.

3. Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999)

Within two years of graduating from Helsinki's Central School of Applied Arts, Tapiovaara was hired as artistic director and designer at Asko Oy, then the largest furniture manufacturer in Finland. Driven by his belief in democratic design, Tapiovaara sought to fill the need for furniture of high quality, like the Lukki Chair, that was still accessible to the wider public in post WWII Finland. He explored the social responsibility of the artist in all aspects of his career as an interior architect and designer, contributing to many Finnish public institutions as well. Hugely influential at home and internationally, his life and (now iconic) works were the subject of an exciting retrospective at the Helsinki Design Museum in 2014. 

4. Kaj Franck (1911-1989)

 Born in Vyborg, Finland, Kaj Franck has influenced the appearance of everyday Finnish objects perhaps more than any other designer. In fact, he has been described as the "conscience" of Finnish Design. Working in textiles, ceramics, glass and plastic products, Franck was awarded a large number of Finnish and international awards and prizes. Aino Aalto invited him to work at the Artek Interior Design Office in the 1930s, and Franck also served as the Artek store designer during this time. Widely known for the Teema tableware series, many of his works have been displayed at a range of design museums around the world.

5. Eero Aarnio (1932- )

In the 1960s, Aarnio broke away from design conventions, experimenting with plastics, vivid colors and organic form. His innovations include the Ball Chair (pictured, top right) in 1963, echoing the pop culture and spirit of the time. This one-man design workshop (Aarnio is an interior designer, industrial designer, graphic artist, and photographer) has helped to maintain Finland's position on the cutting edge of modern design. He has challenged our perception of plastics throughout his career, offering them a new identity as something durable, beautiful, and memorable.Today, Eero Aarnio continues to create new designs, including toys and furniture for children and his Rocket Stool for Artek has become a beloved favorite.


Interested in learning more about Artek designers? You can read about them all here



The new year has arrived, and with it, hopes and expectations of big changes to come. Want to get a jump-start on renewal? Refresh your living space using these insider tips on 2015 home style from the Wall Street Journal as guidance. 

Mixed Metals

Combine warm and cool tones in the same room for a modern, unstaged feeling. Artek pendant lamps are the perfect way to add new metallic hues to your existing arrangement. Try these two styles for an instant update:

1. A330S Pendant Lamp. 

Four finishes that can be used in infinite combinations. Alternate the brass and chrome over a dining table for a look that really shines. 

2. A331 "Beehive"

This lamp is decorative and sculptural, even when unlit. 


Moody Indigo

Dark blue shades add depth to a room, and pair well with most any color. Use it as an accent color or as a more sophisticated neutral tone, starting with these pieces:

1. Stool 60 by Hella Jongerius 

Stack a few of these updated classics in your sitting room. A single Stool 60 makes a beautifully understated side table or nightstand as well.   

2. 401 Armchair by Hella Jongerius

Warm walnut brings out the richness of the deep blue in the color-blocked seat. 


Smoky Glass

Sultry, yet refined, smoky glass strikes a perfect balance between the traditional and the unexpected. 

1. Alvar Aalto Vase by Iittala

Dark or jewel-tone colors amplify this iconic piece's mysterious shape. 

2. The Kastehelmi Collection by Iittala

The Finnish word “kastehelmi” means “dewdrop,” referencing the concentric rings of bubbles that give this collection its character. 



Want to know the best part about investing in your home now? Artek's classic style will outlast the trends, looking beautiful in 2016 and beyond. So happy new year, and happy homemaking, from Artek. 


January 08
Home Style In 2015