|Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) is a recognized master of modern architecture and design. Born in Kuortane, Finland, Aalto began to make his distinct mark in design shortly after receiving his architectural degree from Helsinki Polytechnic in 1921. In 1924, Aalto married fellow architect Aino Marsio, creating a lifelong partnership that built an international design legacy. During his remarkable career, Aalto designed major public institutions including concert halls, museums, universities, libraries as well as private homes throughout the world. Aalto's furniture and houseware designs derived organically from his architectural work.|
Aalto's unique aesthetic helped to define Finnish design as well as introduce it to a global audience. Aalto hallmarks include a harmonious relationship with nature, functionalism combined with beauty, excellent attention to details and an ingenious use of materials. Aalto's designs were already being exhibited internationally as early as the 1930s, including at New York's Museum of Modern Art. When Aalto premiered his "Savoy Vase" at the 1930 New York Worldâ€™s Fair, it instantly caused a sensation with its dynamic wavy design that was as alive and fluid as the Finnish lakes that inspired it. The legendary vase is one of the world's most famous glass objects and remains a timeless staple for Iittala.
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|Artek | Vitra|
artek - Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was "to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means." In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture, and art.
The name Artek is a synthesis of "art" and 'technology'—concepts central to the international modernist movement that came to prominence in the 1920s. It was Walter Gropius, a key proponent of modernism, who coined the motto 'art and technology—a new unity.' Technology was understood to include science and industrial production methods, while the conception of art extended beyond the fine arts to encompass architecture and design. Modernism aimed to achieve a fruitful union of these two spheres. This same aspiration guided the founders of Artek in their naming of the company.
The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting, and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. It stands for clarity, functionality, and poetic simplicity.
virta. - Creating innovative products and concepts with great designers is Vitra's essence. They are developed in Switzerland and installed worldwide by architects, companies and private users to build inspirational spaces for living, working and shopping as well as public areas. With its classics Vitra represents groundbreaking 20th century design. Today, in combining technical and conceptual expertise with the creativity of contemporary designers, Vitra seeks to continue pushing the boundaries of the design discipline. A family business for eighty years, Vitra believes in lasting relationships with customers, employees and designers, durable products, sustainable growth and the power of good design.