Artek presents Rivi: a new textile pattern by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Rivi – meaning "line" in Finnish – is based on a handmade drawing of parallel lines that extend in both directions without end. It is the first textile pattern by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Artek.
For the Bouroullec brothers, drawing by hand has always been an essential part of the design process. Their 864-page book “Drawing”, collecting over 850 drawings made by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec between 2005 and 2012, was published in 2013 by JRP Ringier.
With its parallel, endless lines, Rivi is precise, yet imperfect due to its nature. The beauty of Rivi comes from the unique, natural quirks of the handmade illustration. In true Artek tradition, where the natural irregularities of wood are seen as a virtue rather than a flaw, the hand drawn Rivi pattern fits perfectly into the Artek collection. The quality of imperfection remains one of the core values of the brand.
The Rivi range consists of four coloured fabrics: white/blue, blue/white, mustard/white and light grey/white. The textiles come in cotton, canvas cotton, and acrylic coated cotton, the latter an easy to care material ideal for a durable table cloth.
Rivi is available as running metre fabric and pre-cut 3x1.5m packages for DIY use, perfect for the customisation of napkins and other tableware, children’s toys or even clothing. Additional products include textile accessories such as cushions, pouches and canvas bags, as well as silk screen printed trays.
Since Artek was founded in 1935, textiles have been integral to the company’s motto that beauty should be part of everyday life. For Aino and Alvar Aalto, fabrics were an essential element of the home, and were mentioned already in the founding manifesto as one of Artek’s main activities.
Rivi continues Artek’s long tradition of handmade textile patterns, following in the footsteps of Aino and Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck and other designers, while boasting its very own characteristics.
You can watch a video about Rivi on Vimeo.
Created by Aino Aalto and used on the terrace of the Aalto family home on Helsinki’s Riihitie Road, the plant pots embody the Aaltos’ belief that the small details are equally worthy of our time and attention. Although the plant pots featured in the Artek presentation at the Paris World Fair in 1937, they never went into serial production. On the occasion of Finland’s centenary in 2017, Artek introduces the plant pots in both the original shapes.
In 1934, Aino and Alvar Aalto acquired a plot of land on Riihitie Road in the outlying Helsinki suburb of Munkkiniemi. It was here the designers built the house that would serve both as a family home and an office, the site where the Aaltos could create the work that would change the course of modern architecture and furniture design.
Completed in 1936, the house was lived in by the family until the 1990s. Today, it’s a museum where visitors can see the Aaltos’ design philosophy embodied in their much-loved family home. While many details speak of functionalism – the windows, flat roof, and the bare simplicity of the exterior – warmth and cosiness are expressed in the abundant use of wood and slate, the brick hearths and lightly rendered brickwork.
Two plant pots sit on the large south-facing terrace. Designed by Aino Aalto for the family home, they are further testimony to the Aaltos’ affinity with nature and natural materials.
In 2017, Artek introduces the plant pots in both original shapes. The ceramic pots are handcrafted, the choice of material inspired by the tiles Alvar Aalto incorporated into many of his buildings. Reinterpreted in three sizes for indoor use, the plant pots are available in white or blue, both colours sourced from ceramic tiles on display at The Experimental House, the Aaltos’ summer retreat on the Finnish island of Muuratsalo.
Artek celebrates the centenary of Finland’s independence by introducing several of Alvar Aalto’s L-Leg products in a stone white lacquer and new linoleum surface colours. These Finland 100 specials are available throughout the anniversary year.
Through the late 1920s, Aalto experimented with wood-bending, collaborating with the furniture manufacturer Otto Korhonen and developing what became known as the “L-Leg,” a solid birch piece bent to a 90-degree angle. Patented in 1933, it formed the basis of a versatile system of standard components that became the foundation of Artek’s furniture designs. Although the L-Leg collection is based on a standard component, Aalto believed that standardisation in furniture design shouldn’t prevent variety. 85 years after the iconic products were designed, Artek sheds new light on these L-Leg classics, introducing the Finland 100 specials.
The stone white lacquer has been a popular colour within the Artek collection for years, available on products by fellow Finnish master Ilmari Tapiovaara. With four new shades of linoleum, a material key to Aalto’s design vocabulary, the L-Leg tables and stools are given a new, fresh look that highlights the understated beauty of these classics. The Finland 100 colour palette features four linoleum shades: ash, pebble, olive and smoky blue. All are muted tones that works beautifully on their own or together in a group. The subtle colours have been selected to last for generations and to age with grace.
In 2017, Finland celebrates 100 years as an independent nation with continuous democracy. Finland is a young, egalitarian country. From the start, architecture and design made significant contributions to the development of its national identity. The great international success of Finnish design promoted the development of Finland’s widely acclaimed design culture, with which Artek is closely associated. For decades, Artek has had a profound influence on interiors, lifestyles and everyday culture in Finland. The company itself has become part of the modern Finnish identity and its national cultural heritage.
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.
For more than 80 years, Artek’s products have enriched public spaces, museums, schools, restaurants, hotels, shops, as well as countless private homes all over the world. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, also home to the Flagship Store Artek Helsinki and the Artek 2nd Cycle Store.
Artek at Maison & Objet Paris
20–24 January 2017
Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre
Hall 7, Stand B8 & C7
Fri-Mon: 9.30am – 7pm
Tuesday: 9.30am – 6pm