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 with us."

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 dialogue."

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."

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."



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