Art & Technology (1935)
Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was "to sell furniture and promote a modern culture of living with exhibitions and other educational means".
In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative actor in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture and art.
The Artek collection includes furniture, lights and accessories designed by Finnish masters and great international designers. It represents clarity, functionality and poetic simplicity.
The name Artek is a synthesis of "art" and "technology" - central concepts for the international modernist movement that came to the fore in the 1920s.
It was Walter Gropius, a key exponent of modernism, who coined the motto "art and technology - a new unity".
The technology included scientific methods and industrial production, while the concept of art extended beyond the fine arts to embrace architecture and design.
Modernism aimed to achieve a fruitful union of these two spheres. This same aspiration led the founders of Artek in naming the company.
Most Artek products are made in the a-factory in Turku, Finland, the city where Aalto furniture has been manufactured since the 1920s.
Distributed over 7000 square meters, the factory is a semi-industrial operation. Specialized in the bending of solid birch, laminated, plywood and veneer, as well as in the traditional carpentry and lacquer finish, the carpenters of the factory manage all the furniture manufacturing by hand.