More about Artek
The Finnish company Artek was founded in 1935 by Alvar Aalto, his wife and fellow designer Aino Aalto, art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl, and artist Marie Gullichsen. Their mission was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means”. The name “Artek” is a portmanteau of “Art” and “Technology”, reflecting the desire to combine technical production expertise with artistic design and materials of the highest quality.
Aalto’s birch furniture—Armchair 41 and Stool 60—are classics that often get copied. These pieces of furniture have been in production since 1933 and continue to be important parts of the collection. Today, the Artek collection comprises furniture, lighting, and home accessories, all designed by Finnish masters and international designers. The range of lighting solutions still features many lamps from Alvar Aalto, but the selection also features creations by other Finnish designers like Juha Leiviskä and Eero Aarnio.
Finnish design Finnish design is more than just décor. It’s more like a lifestyle, and not just something to make your interior design appealing. Finnish design is in touch with nature, which is reflected in its ability to maximise the natural light in décor. Small details are in focus, and everything is carefully crafted. Finnish designers often draw on nature for inspiration, both in terms of shape and material and the overall experience of the product. “Less is more”—minimalism and simplicity are the primary elements in interior design, and great care is taken to arrange furniture in a way that makes it easy to move around the room. In other words, there is no “mess” in Finnish design.
Artek lighting solutions are a great example of this. The Artek collection comprises handmade lamps made of high-quality materials. Nothing is left to chance—the decorative details are simple and carefully thought through, and they take the impact of the light on its surroundings into consideration. Take the perforated ring that appears on numerous lampshades. The dotted ring adds more than just a decorative expression—it bathes its surroundings in a diffuse and comfortable glow. The ring adds a halo effect that gives the design yet another elegant touch.
Alvar AaltoYou can’t talk about Finnish design without mentioning Alvar Aalto: the biggest Finnish designer of all time. Aalto knew he wanted to be an architect when he was just nine years old. Many of his buildings are influenced by his fascination with Italian architecture, particularly rural churches. His late architecture is rife with asymmetrical structures, rustic character, and pure white walls.
He was also focused on the overall expression of the building. To tie the rooms together, he started designing furniture and lighting solutions tailored to specific buildings. The result was a series of furniture that focused on comfort, not to mention amazing lighting solutions that have gone on to become design classics.