Artek’s presence at the Habitare Furniture Fair is more diverse and broader than ever before. In addition to its own stand, Artek has partnered in the exhibition architecture of the Ahead! design area and in the Timeline special exhibition.
Artek’s stand at 7h31 presents several new items for the first time to the Finnish public. The stand’s colourful design by Artek Studio was inspired by the Artek booth at the Milan fair in 2012, designed by the German multi-gifted Mike Meiré.
Artek has a broad range of novelties on offer. The Kiki Collection designed in 1960 by Ilmari Tapiovaara is an internationally acclaimed treasure of Finnish furniture design. It is the first series in the Artek Collection that makes use of a metal frame. The Lento Lounge easy chair and side table are a long-awaited addition to the Lento collection begun by Harri Koskinen in 2006. The timeless TW002 pendant lamp by Tapio Wirkkala represents a new venture by Artek delving into the designer’s fabulous collection of lamps. The real hero, however, is the iconic classic, Stool 60. Designed by Alvar Aalto, Stool 60 turns a venerable 80 next year, and in celebration of the anniversary Artek releases it in new jubilee colours.
The architects of the Ahead! design area, Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman, invited Artek to participate by providing furniture for the Forum, café, Reading Corner and lounge area of the Ahead! design area. The theme of the Ahead! area is ‘Responsibility’, a perfect fit to the core values of Artek: ethics, aesthetics and functionality. Collaboration with architects in these very areas also supports Artek’s goal of promoting and supporting social networks and publishing. In the Forum, the café and the Reading Corner, visitors can learn about the products and philosophy of Artek's 2nd Cycle concept. The lounge area is furnished with Sedia 1 chairs by Enzo Mari.
Furniture designer and interior architect Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914–1999) was a fearless cosmopolitan already in his twenties, setting his sights on the international scene at a young age. Tapiovaara was influenced by the design ideas of Alvar Aalto and Nils-Gustav Hahl, whereby a designer’s task is to create a humanly and spiritually rich environment. Ilmari Tapiovaara designed Kiki in 1960. It was originally conceived as a chair whose stackability allowed it to be used in public spaces and to seat large groups of people. In the Kiki Collection Tapiovaara used a more streamlined design instead of the organic forms he had favoured previously. The elegant frame made of oval steel pipes has the effect of making the pieces both light and modern. Kiki was a huge success, and Tapiovaara was awarded the gold medal for it at the 1960 Milan Triennale. Kiki also became a trailblazer for furniture design of the age in a broader sense. Its timeless and elegant design and versatility of use have made Kiki one of the most popular pieces of public furniture in Finland. The Kiki product family includes a chair, a stool, a lounge chair, several tables of various sizes, benches and sofas.
In the career of Harri Koskinen (1970–), wood has been a particularly important material, along with glass. Wood for him represents Finnish identity, industry and crafts. While a challenging material which keeps the designer humble, wood also provides inspiration. It is an honest material that withstands wear and the ravages of time. Lento – Finnish for ‘flight’ – got its name for its lightness. The Lento chair was the first piece in the collection, and it set the tone for the entire range. Launched in 2006, Lento was the very first item in the range of the then newly established Artek Studio. Koskinen designed the Lento chair as a durable piece of furniture for both homes and public spaces. The Lento Collection grew in 2009 when upholstered chairs and a table were launched at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. In Milan in 2012, Lento expanded to cover also lounges and lounge areas. The new Lento Lounge easy chair and side table are versatile, fitting urban homes, country houses and public places alike.
Designed by Alvar Aalto (1898–1976), Stool 60 turns a venerable 80 next year. Stool 60 is the number one seller of Artek products and one of the most famous design products of the world. In celebration of the anniversary, the stool is released in jubilee colours which are borrowed directly from the colours in Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium (1928–1933): the yellow of the floors, the green of the walls, and the orange, white and black of the furniture. The 1930s marked a breakthrough for Alvar Aalto both as an architect and a designer. Stool 60 was first introduced to the international public at the Wood Only exhibition in London in November 1933, to rave reviews. The simple, stackable and durable wooden stool represented a new approach to furniture design, and a continuation of the brand of modernism initiated by Bauhaus. The use of wood instead of bent steel was revolutionary at the time. Aalto spent years developing the L-shaped leg at the Korhonen furniture factory. The development of Stool 60 alone took several years. Stool 60 represents a crystallization of the values of Artek concerning the importance of technology, art and ethics.
Stool 60 Anniversary Edition The Municipal Library in Vyborg
Artek 2nd Cycle
The Manifesto of Artek which sets out the firm’s philosophy was written when the company was founded on 15 October 1935. The visionary founders of Artek laid the foundation for an ideology in which sustainable development joins hands with enlightened consumerism. The original goals and values are still very much part of Artek today. The Manifest is a challenge for the company, especially now, when consumption is fast and feral. The original values of Artek – long-term durability and high quality combined with a clean form language – remain the company’s driving forces. Artek has always stood firmly for social awareness, maintaining a certain idealism. The idea behind the Artek 2nd Cycle store is not to recycle products, but to extend their lifecycle to create a new consumer connection. The long lifespan of a product is proof of its quality. At the Habitare Fair, Artek’s 2nd Cycle products are on display in the Ahead! area in the forum, the reading corner and the café, as well as in the Timeline special exhibition designed by Kaisa Blomstedt.
The great master, dissident and provocateur of Italian design, Enzo Mari (1932–) created in 1974 a project called Autoprogettazione, the idea of which was to design furniture from as simple materials as possible. The Sedia 1 chair in the Artek Collection is one of the designs created in the project. The buyer of the package gets the components of the chair, cut to measure, nails and instructions. Mari has always designed his products with a view to mass production. According to his philosophy, a product needs to be more than just functional, it must also be beautiful and feel good when it is used. Mari’s many designs include 16 Animali (Danese, 1957), the 3087 Vase (Danese, 1969), the chairs Sof Sof and Box (Driade, 1971 and Castelli, 1975) and the Smith & Smith kitchen tools (Zani & Zani, 1987), to name just a few of his 2000 projects.
Artek stand 7h31
Ahead! Reading Corner
Ahead! lounge areas
Timeline special exhibition
Habitare opening hours:
For the public: Thu 13 Sept 2-7pm, Fri 14 Sept 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 15-16 Sept 10am-6pm
For professionals: Wed 12 Sept 10am-6pm, Thu 13 Sept 10am-2pm
Visit the Artek Stores! Addresses and opening hours are available online at http://www.artek.fi/contacts/.