Artek - Art and Technology now and in the future
Artek's design strategy and talents around it presented by Mirkku Kullberg
and Tom Dixon
Artek will turn 70 years on October 15th 2005. Artek was founded as a
genuinely and effortlessly international company, where ambition and strong
insight were combined with design talent and high quality standards. Values
have always played an important role in Artek's existence; the encounter
of humane design and the individual is highlighted.
Artek's future vision is based on the roots and central thoughts of
the company. What has been especially meaningful in Artek is the recognition
of the importance of long term planning and timelessness - industrial
design that has carried the company for 70 years. Alvar Aalto spent three
years designing his three legged stool; an icon was born.
In addition to Artek's roots, the strategic decisions also find support
from the strengthening societal values. People are increasingly enlightened
and the cultural citizenship of Artek's founding era is again more important
than it has been in a long time. This thinking is not defined by income
or education; people long for products that have a soul.
In the future Artek believes in the importance of long term strategy -
in commitment both from the side of the company and its people. Artek
combines ambitious industrial design with an increased individual freedom
- people can affect the products they buy for homes or public spaces.
The purpose is to design sustainable quality products through an individual-oriented
process. Alvar Aalto saw homes as portraits of their owners and this respect
for the individual lives and strengthens in Artek. Artek pieces are to
remain functional and designed to work in a space. Environments do not
only protect but they can also stimulate; make life socially, aestethically
and spiritually better.
Artek's future strategy relates not only to long term planning but also
to natural materials, especially Finnish wood. Possible partnerships with
Finnish wood processing industry are being investigated.
Artek is happy to announce that Finnish government has shown its trust
in the future strategy of the company. Through TEKES (National Technology
Agency of Finland) it supports the product development process that enables
the new important phase in Artek's life.
The active dialogue with Alvar Aalto Foundation remains vital: there is
still a lot of knowledge to be shared and products to be brought back
to the individual of the future - humane philosophy for anyone and everyone.
Artek's strategy needs talented people to accompany the existing talents.
Artek has the honour to welcome to the family two exceptional designers,
Eero Aarnio and Harri Koskinen.
Mirkku Kullberg says:
"I strongly feel that Artek is beginning a second life. The values
that Artek represents have perhaps never been as timely as now. In the
world we live in, quality and commitment will replace disposable culture.
We have the priviledge to bring into life the inspiring Artek-philosophy.
Eero and Harri make us stronger - it is a great honour to have them work
Tom Dixon says:
"I believe that there is room in the crowded international market
for a global brand with a Nordic feel that embraces sustainability, that
understands furniture from an architectural standpoint and is expert in
the application of technology in natural materials. This brand is Artek.
We want to retain the Finnish roots of this company, and a perfect way
to demonstrate this commitment is to work with some of the leading Finnish
design exports. We will surely give birth to stimulating international
Eero Aarnio says:
"The assignment is challenging, but at the same time I feel pieces
coming together. I have designed everything from a toothpick to a house.
I respect Artek's wholistic thinking - the unity of interiors and environments.
I have had a joy to work as a Finnish designer in the international industry
for a long time. I find it important that this knowledge and skill can
be further cultivated. Materials have never limited me; I am first and
foremost an industrial designer. Technological product development is
important to me - I want to be involved from start to finish. I have an
enormous amount of energy and ideas; experience and innovation come together
in Artek, myself and this assignment." www.eeroaarnio.com
Harri Koskinen says:
"This assignment is a brilliant opportunity. Artek is definitely
a cherished brand with a remarkable history. Artek, a company founded
to be genuinely international, embraces the values of quality and high
standards. In Artek thinking and analysis precedes action. All this gives
an exceptionally good starting point for future success stories. I clearly
see a new beginning in Artek; Mirkku's arrival has brought with it an
incomprehensible amount of positive. All our conversations have left me
feeling extremely good. The signs are strong: something will happen."