Contract - May 2011 - (Page 66)
Artek’s plans for growth are far from ﬁnished, as seen in the acquisition of the Tapiovaara range of design furniture
Helsinki-based furniture manufacturer Artek long has prospered on its sales of furniture and lighting pieces designed by the acknowledged master of Finnish design Alvar Aalto, who founded the company in 1935 with Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. But since Artek marked its 75th birthday last year, it has been decidedly on the move, expanding its North American presence with the opening of its ﬁrst U.S. showroom in New York in March 2010, establishing a joint manufacturing and distribution venture with Finnish furniture manufacturer Martela Oyj in October 2010, and recently acquiring Finnish manufacturer Aero Design
Trienna Coﬀee Table
According to the company, Aalto’s products have accounted for almost 60 percent of Artek’s sales in Finland, and sales in the international market have almost exclusively consisted of classic Aalto designs. With the Tapiovaara range, Artek begins to create a broader concept for its collections. Under its new strategy, the company is poised to become a resource for internationally signiﬁcant Nordic design products and achieve signiﬁcant expansion through its new distribution channels. Himself a great admirer of Aalto, Tapiovaara embraced the social equality of functionalism and was committed to the same ideological principles that drive Artek’s design Mademoiselle Lounge Chair philosophy, stressing the balance between aesthetics, ethics, and ecology. The Aalto and Tapiovaara collections are complementa in terms of their design vocabula , where the tradition-inspired style of Tapiovaara’s wooden furniture presents a so er view that contrasts with the vividly architectural idiom of Aalto’s designs. “The Tapiovaara collection truly will complement the Alvar Aalto products and will increase the visibility of the Artek brand, certainly in the United States,” says Simone VingerhoetsZiesmann, executive vice president, Artek USA Inc. Tapiovaara products are speciﬁcally designed for the contract market and have been sold into commercial projects for years in Scandinavia. Now they are available to the U.S. market for the ﬁrst time through Artek. “Instead of designing and producing a new line of furniture, Artek has decided to sustain an existing brand and continue Ilmari Tapiovaara’s legacy under the Artek umbrella,” notes Vingerhoets-Ziesmann. “The collection has proven to be functional and durable in the hospitality, retail, and oﬃce environments and doesn’t have to go through a new product trial period. This is a luxu position to be in when launching a new line, and gives architects and designers the immediate conﬁdence to specify the product.”
Domus Stacking Chair
Domino Coﬀee Table
Furniture Oyj. With this latest move, Artek also acquired the trademarks to the furniture designed by renowned Finnish architect and furniture designer Ilmari Tapiovaara, thus expanding its oﬀering of iconic Finnish design pieces and making a strong strategic statement about its future as a company devoted to design excellence in the Nordic tradition.
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contract may 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - May 2011
Contract - May 2011
Resources: Salone Internazionale Del Mobile
Exhibition: Neocon® Preview
Focus: Timeless Tradition
Focus: In the Nude
Green: Does It Cost More to Build Green?
Practice: Gimme Some Slack!
Process: Cultural Connection
Process: Productive, People-Friendly Places
Contract - May 2011