Finnish design company Artek turned 77 years old earlier this month, and one of the iconic Artek products, which achitect Alvar Aalto designed even before forming Artek, the “Stool 60” turns 80 years next year. To celebrate this mark in time, designer Nao Tamura created this special version of the Stool 60 to be auctioned at the Design Trust’s 2012 Art+Design Benefit Auction on November 7th at Ralph Pucci International in New York City.
The stackable stool 60 was created in 1933 by Alvar Aalto represents the quintessence of functionalist furniture design. The simple idea behind this now-classic stool is based on three bent legs and a round seat. Nao Tamura gave this classic stool a new old look – old meaning that the seat portion looks like a cut tree with the year rings showing representing the 80 years since the designing of the stool.
Contained within a single tree is its unabridged chronicle Year by year, never skipping a beat, it records its history slowly. Some lines speak of seasons of plenty, while others cry of famine. The size of the rings are never the same. Each engraving bears witness to battles waged in the name of survival. To observe such is to humble ourselves to nature’s love of life.
This celebration was created by layering upon the chair’s beautiful geometric shape, a complex and organic graphic of life. My hope is that the Artek “Stool 60″ will evoke the bounty of nature as seen by the passage of 80 years of time.
Artek – Finnish Design Supremacy
Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists, Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business idea of the company was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of habitation by exhibitions and other educational means.” The founders of Artek advocated a new kind of environment for everyday life. They believed in a grand synthesis of the arts and wanted to make a difference in town planning as well as architecture and design.
The core of the Artek product range consists of Alvar Aalto’s furniture and lighting pieces. Today Artek is looking to extend the range and for example acquired the rights to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s furniture collection. Artek also continues to work in close collaboration with prominent international architects, designers and artists, such as Eero Aarnio, Shigeru Ban, Naoto Fukasawa, Harri Koskinen, Juha Leiviskä, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.