Artek is pleased to launch its new collections alongside vintage pieces by Alvar Aalto at the 2nd Cycle Cafe at designjunction during the London Design Festival.
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.
Meanwhile, the Lento Lounge easy chair and side table are a long-awaited addition to the Lento collection launched by Finnish designer Harri Koskinen in 2006.
In lighting, the timeless TW002 pendant lamp by Tapio Wirkkala represents a new venture by Artek, delving into the designer’s fabulous collection of lamps.
Since Artek was founded in Finland in 1935, Alvar Aalto’s philosophy has held steadfast. Sustainability has always been at the core of the brand and the 2nd Cycle is a physical manifestation of these values. For the past five years Artek has collected old products from public institutions, schools, universities and even flea markets. Artek gives these products a new context and a new lease on life, demonstrating that these pieces have new stories to tell and their usability is far from over.
Vintage pieces for sale: Fifty Chair 69s and twelve Table 81s by Alvar Aalto, all from a prestigious Finnish building are now being used as the 2nd Cycle café furniture on the ground floor of designjunction. These vintage pieces are available to purchase on site, through the highly respected retailer twentytwentyone. The 2nd Cycle Café, designed by Canadian-born Philippe Malouin, is being run by the chic London eatery Fernandez & Wells.
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.
Furniture designer and interior architect Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914–1999) was a pioneer of Nordic modernism, better everyday life and sustainable development. In 1946, Tapiovaara was commissioned to design the furniture for the Domus Academica student housing complex in Helsinki.
The frame of the Domus chair is made of solid birch or oak, the seat and the back rest of pressed plywood. An important feature of the chair is its stackability. The armrests are short, yet sufficient to rest your elbows. Domus at that time was the first modern chair, equally well suited for the use in auditoriums, schools and homes.
The Domus chair is available in a variety of finishes and materials. The Domus product family is completed by the Domus Lounge Chair.
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.
Artek is a sales organisation, established in 1935, to promote humane and innovative design. The cornerstones of Artek's product development strategy are ethics, aesthetics, and sustainability. Combining the heritage of Alvar Aalto with ambitious product research, Artek today is more art and tech than ever.
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19th – 23rd September
Wednesday 19 September: 3pm-6pm Press Preview / 7pm-10pm Private View
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Friday 21 September - Saturday 22 September: 10am-6pm
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