Picture: Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto was born on the 3rd of February 1898 in Kuortane, Finland. The technical and artistic interest was there already at an early stage of his life, and after his high-school graduation in 1916 Aalto studied to become an architect.
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In the beginning Alvar Aalto was a neo-classicist, but soon joined the functionalist credo that was formed by rational building and idealistic vision. He united functionalism with a humanistic approach. His thoughts concerned human needs and the surrounding environment.
Enthusiasm for work became somewhat of a trademark for Aalto. In 1924 he married Aino Marsio, a colleague at his architect office. She concentrated on interior design and deserves credit for interiors and design that for many has been viewed as Aaltos work.
In 1935 he founded the interior and sales company Artek with his collaborators. The idea was to design aesthetically simple furniture made from flexed veneer as an answer to the modern shapes of the contemporary steel pipe furniture. Production became a huge success and Artek is still active.
Aalto also designed glass for Iittala. The curves of his Savoy vase has become somewhat of a symbol for Finnish design. Furthermore he designed lighting armature, metal pieces and textile patterns. The section on design exhibits facts on furnitures designed by Aalto from early classic style to worldfamous, functionalistic models.
Sources: Göran Schildt, Nationalencyclopedin