Artek Aalto: The Innovator of Modern Finnish Design


Alvar Aalto, the renowned Finnish architect and designer, founded Artek in 1935 as a platform to combine art, design, and architecture. Artek soon became an iconic design brand known for its original, functional, and timeless pieces of furniture and home accessories. Artek’s furniture and design are still unique even after almost a century, and the company continues to inspire a new generation of designers worldwide.

The Background of Artek Aalto

Artek Aalto is a combination of the words “art” and “technology,” which reflects the brand’s mission to blend the arts and functionality. Artek’s founding members, Alvar Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl, formed the design company in Helsinki in 1935. Artek’s philosophy was to produce functional, affordable furniture that fuses technology, design, craftsmanship, and art. The team believed in creating modern designs that are both ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing.

The Artek Aalto Design Principles

Artek Aalto had a set of design principles that they followed religiously. The brand believed in designing pieces that reflected honest materials and construction, showing the natural beauty of wood, steel, glass, and other materials. They designed functional objects that were easy to use, meet the needs of modern living, and that are timeless so that they wouldn’t lose their relevance over time. Additionally, they considered the entire design process and the environment in which their pieces would be used.

The Artek Aalto Furniture and Accessories

One of Artek’s cornerstone designs is the famous Stool 60, a stackable stool that is both lightweight and sturdy. The stool has a simple, yet ingeniously designed construction that includes several individual pieces. Stool 60 is available in several natural wood finishes and has an understated, yet meaningful design. Another remarkable piece from Artek is the classic Armchair 400, with its iconic bentwood frame and canvas or leather upholstery.

Artek’s accessory collection includes lighting fixtures like the Golden Bell pendant light and table lamps like the A331. The Artek Aalto glass collection includes the bowl set Aalto and the vase collection Aalto. These pieces are still as relevant today as when they first emerged.

The Legacy of Artek Aalto

Artek Aalto’s dedication to design and living have never faded, even after all these years. The company’s emphasis on functionality and practicality has led to a vast array of unique and exciting creations. Artek pieces hold value not just because of their exceptional design, but due to their continued influence on the design industry. The design philosophy of Artek inspires many young designers worldwide, and today the Artek brand continues to produce pieces that look, feel and perform unlike any other.

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