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.
Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, building on the heritage of Alvar Aalto. Functionality and timeless aesthetics are the essential elements in the creation of every product that bears the Artek name.
Artek also continues to work in close collaboration with prominent international architects, designers and artists, such as Eero Aarnio, Naoto Fukasawa, Harri Koskinen, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.
Artek is headquartered in Finland and is owned by the privately held investment company Proventus AB, based in Sweden. Artek has three stores in Finland; one in Helsinki, one store in Espoo and in Turku. Artek maintains close relations with the family of Alvar and Aino Aalto as well as the Alvar Aalto Foundation. The exchange of knowhow is valuable for all the concerned parties.
While valuing traditions Artek has at the same time entered a new era. Combining the ideology of the radical founders and a contemporary and dynamic approach to product development, the company is more art and tech than ever.