Artek 1935-2010

Artek, one of the Finnish cornerstones of thinking ahead born in Helsinki 1935, is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout 2010.

The year long celebration started during Stockholm Furniture Fair in February. Artek opened its first location outside Finland – a showroom for architechts and retailers, which turns later on to a store. The opening of the Stockholm location also marked the launch of DRESS THE CHAIR! – a worldwide campaign to celebrate the skills and knowledge of Artek’s know-how.

Artek Stockholm showroom in the evening light.

DRESS THE CHAIR! campaign focuses and highlights the quality and craftsmanship of Artek products. Artek has invited renowned designers and artists to be inspired by Artek’s classic armchairs, focusing on the iconic Armchair 400 designed by Alvar Aalto. Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Tank’, the armchair was first shown at the Milan Triennale in 1936. Artek will also present Ilse Crawford’s personal vision of ‘The Tank’ – her interpretation of the company’s roots. Artek has also the pleasure of introducing Fanny Aronsen’s tactile and colourful fabrics used as covering for the iconic armchairs.

Ilse Crawfords vision of Armchair 400

Colourplay by Artek Stools and Fanny Aronsen

From Stockholm, DRESS THE CHAIR! will go on tour to Milan, New York, Sydney, London, Tokyo and Helsinki. Along the way, new artists and designers will be invited to participate in the campaign, and their personal visions will be published one by one as the campaign reaches each new metropolis. As the tour ends in Helsinki, all visions will be brought together for a final show.

When Artek was founded in 1935, a Manifest was drawn up, inspired by Functionalism. The vision was to interconnect modern visual arts, rational furniture production and popular education. The philosophy of Artek has been moulded by strong and talented people whose ideologies and radicalism are today more vibrant than ever. Artek’s original values – long-term durability and high quality combined with a clean form language – are still the company’s driving forces. Art and Tech Forever.

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