Artek will highlight the issue of conscious consuming and authentic design through 2nd Cycle. Iconic vintage Artek pieces can be seen in a café at designjunction, designed by Philippe Malouin and run by Fernandez & Wells, and can be purchased through twentytwentyone.
Since Artek was founded in Finland in 1935, Alvar Aalto's philosophy has held steadfast and true. Some six million Aalto stools have been sold worldwide and some of those pieces now have a unique opportunity to tell their story.
Sustainability has always been at the very core of Artek. Perhaps the greatest recent example of this was the launch of 2nd Cycle concept in 2007 when Artek started to collect old products from flea markets, schools, elderly people's homes and garages. Artek wanted to give these classics a new lease of life because each piece still had a story to tell and their usability was far from over.
Now, a limited number of 2nd Cycle products will be available for purchase during the London Design Festival through vintage furniture specialist and long-term Artek partner twentytwentyone.
Modern techniques combined with traditional craftsmanship ensure the quality of each piece of furniture. Visitors to DesignJunction can experience these chairs and tables at the Artek café, which will be designed by venerated Canadian-born Philippe Malouin, who will incorporate the 2nd Cycle pieces into the space.
Fernandez & Wells, one of London's favourite cafés, will provide its much-loved brand of delicious sandwiches, salads, pastries and world-class coffee.
"Artek's reputation is founded on a commitment to quality and continuity," says Mirkku Kullberg, CEO. "We felt it was important to spread the 2nd Cycle message by bringing 60 interesting pieces to London because it sits at the heart of what we do. What somebody bought 80 years ago is still relevant today. What you buy from Artek in 2012 will still be relevant in 2092."
Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists, Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils Gustav Hahl. The business idea of the company was "to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other educational means." The founders of Artek advocated a new kind of environment for everyday life.
They believed in a grand synthesis of the arts and wanted to make a difference in town planning as well as architecture and design. Artek has always valued traditions while, at the same time, staying relevant through the decades. The company combines the ideology of the radical founders with dynamic approach to product development, and Artek is more art and tech than ever. The creative hub of the company is Artek STUDIO, the unit where new products and ideas are developed. Artek is continuously searching for new materials and questioning existing solutions for sustainable design. The cornerstones of the company's product development strategy are ethics, aesthetics and ecology.
In Artek, this translates into a combination of high quality, timeless classics and strong ideology in design thinking. The core of the Artek product range consists of Alvar Aalto's furniture and lighting pieces. Under its new portfolio strategy, Artek is looking to extend the range of its collections. The first step in this direction was the acquisition of Ilmari Tapiovaara's furniture collection. Artek continues to work in close collaboration with prominent international architects, designers and artists, such as Eero Aarnio, Shigeru Ban, Naoto Fukasawa, Harri Koskinen, Juha Leiviskä, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.