Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Design Icon of the Week: Alvar Aalto

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.

Stool 60, designed in 1932. Stackable and constructed of Birch wood.

Savoy vase, designed in 1936 for a competition at the World Fair in Paris. Still produced today by Iittala.

Paimio chair, designed in 1931. Made of bent plywood and birch.

For more info visit:

1 comment:

Kevin Connetta (sometimes assisted by molto bene wife). said...

I love that stool, even in its IKEA incarnation. I have two that continue to survive my IKEA purges - they have been nightstands, I think a coffee table once, and they currently live next to my closets so I can get to the top shelves -- Norine Connetta