Artek will kick off 2014 with the 50th anniversary of the Karuselli lounge chair, a new addition to the Artek product range. Designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro in 1964, Karuselli will be relaunched as part of the Artek range at the imm cologne fair in January.
Revolutionary Design – Karuselli
Karuselli is one of the most famous lounge chairs in the world. Kukkapuro began developing the fibreglass chair in the 1950s, arriving at the famous shape in 1964. The international launch of the chair took place at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1965.
The shape of the Karuselli chair is the result of extensive experimentation. Kukkapuro spent four years sculpting it – searching for the right dimensions, initially using his own body as a guide. Karuselli is exceptionally comfortable as well as stylistically distinctive precisely because it is ergonomically based on the shape and proportions of the human body. As a result of his persistent efforts, Kukkapuro finally arrived at a form that represented a novel combination of ergonomics, new materials and production methods, as well as artistic design. It was this combination of qualities that made Karuselli a revolutionary chair in its time. Ever since its first launch, Karuselli has caught the eye, captured the imagination and has given pleasure to those sitting in it.
“For some reason, when designing a collection of chairs or other furniture, I have often begun with the largest piece, a fully developed recliner complete with headrest and ottoman, then whittled down the dimensions until I was finally even able to turn it into a bar stool. Over the years, I have used this method to create entire product families. In the case of public spaces and modern settings, it has in fact been a necessity, and the approach has also served me well personally.” – Yrjö Kukkapuro
Born in Viipuri in 1933, Yrjö Kukkapuro is one of the internationally most prestigious and successful Finnish designers. He graduated as an interior architect from the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki in 1958 and founded his own design office, Studio Kukkapuro, in 1959. A renowned award-winning designer, Kukkapuro worked as a teacher, professor and rector from the 1960s to the 1990s. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York, the Victoria & Albert in London, the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, the National Museum of Art in Stockholm and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Kukkapuro has exhibited his work in dozens of solo and group shows across the world.
In the radical spirit of its founders, Artek is in the vanguard of creating future paths within and between the disciplines of design, architecture and art.
Artek has been a pioneer of ethical design since 1935. The cornerstones of Artek’s strategy are ethics, aesthetics and ecology. In Artek, this translates into high quality, timeless icons and tomorrow’s archetypes in humane design. The core of Artek’s product range consists of furniture and lamps designed by Alvar Aalto and the furniture collection of Ilmari Tapiovaara. In accordance with its current portfolio strategy, Artek has extended its collection to respond to the ever growing demand. In autumn 2013, Artek signed a cooperation contract with Yrjö Kukkapuro and launched small interior design objects by Kaj Franck. In September 2013, Artek passed into the ownership of Vitra AG.