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 Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting, and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. It stands for clarity, functionality, and poetic simplicity.
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.
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.