Artek is renowned as one of the most innovative contributors to modern design. Long-term durability and high quality combined with a clean-lined form language are the essential elements in the creation of every single product that bears the Artek name. Artek's comprehensive furnishing system can be used in all kinds of situations from public spaces to offices, museums to schools, hotels to homes.
Artek was founded in 1935 by four young Finns led by the visionary modern architect Alvar Aalto. Alvar Aalto, who began designing furnishings as a natural and important extension of his architectural thinking and success, created his first furniture in 1931-32 for the tuberculosis sanatorium at Paimio. This proved to be his international breakthrough. Artek was set up in 1935 to market Aalto's furniture, lamps and textiles, particularly on international markets where Artek focused its operations from the initial stages.
Artek was more than a commercial enterprise; it also aimed at developing the expression of its founders' modernistic spirit. It was an industrial arts center where the art and design trends of the time converged. Artek's founders demonstrated a broad cultural outlook and a pioneering spirit. Through their efforts Artek became an unbiased discussion and events forum that could accommodate even radical approaches. Artek continues to function in the same spirit and has solidified its position as a timely center for design, keeping a close watch on today's evolving fashions, lifestyle changes and new developments in the industry.
Artek remains at the forefront of quality and the best design. Artek's original values - long-term durability and high quality combined with a clean-lined form language - are still the company's driving forces. Even today, Artek's most important products are the furniture designed by Aalto and the company carries on the Aalto tradition and its spirit by renewing and re-issuing his designs, even occasionally in the form of a challenge to the master. In recent years the company has also extended its collection by taking on new designers following Alvar Aalto's footsteps.