I spotted an Alvar Aalto vase at the flea market this weekend and the dealer thought the designer was from Mexico. That made me laugh a bit, and prompted the idea of featuring a design icon every week. Here is a short bio from the Design Museum about Aalto:
The most important Finnish architect of the 20th century, ALVAR AALTO (1898-1976) was a central figure in international modernism. His greatest buildings, like the 1927 Viipuri Library and 1928 Paimio Sanatorium, fused the naturalism of Finnish romanticism with modernist ideals: as did his influential furniture and glassware.
Here are a few of his most recognizable designs. And yes, the forms in his designs are evident at IKEA today.