The Kiki Collection
Design Ilmari Tapiovaara, 1960
Designing not for the few, but for the many was a guiding principle for Ilmari Tapiovaara
throughout his career. Already as a student, Tapiovaara focused on improving everyday life for
larger parts of the population through furniture based on serial production. He took the aesthetic
and ideological aspects of modernism as a starting point for his profession.
At the end of the 1950s, Ilmari Tapiovaara’s designs shifted from the organic, curved forms found
in nature to modular systems inspired by, for instance, molecular structures. The Kiki Collection,
designed in 1960 for both public and private use, is based on a metal tube with an oval cross
section. This was the first time that Tapiovaara built a consistent system of matching parts,
including a multi-purpose chair, a stool, a bench, a small side table, a lounge chair and a sofa.
The modular, right-angled designs make it easy to combine the various pieces with each other.
The manufacturer of the oval metal tubes had allegedly approached Tapiovaara with the request
to design a product that could make use of his considerable overstock of the material. And
Tapiovaara succeeded: thanks to its simple and compact, yet refined proportions, the Kiki chair
became a favourite of Modernist architects in Finland during the 1960s, and was awarded with
the golden medal at the Milan Triennale in 1960.
Today, the Kiki Collection comprises sofas, benches, a lounge chair and side tables.
At the Stockholm Furniture Fair, Artek presents the entire collection in a wide range of fabrics,
demonstrating the visual generosity and versatility of the products.
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