At Salone del Mobile 2018, Artek presented an installation of Compact Living that explored the challenge of an urban reality: scarcity of space. In a display of less than 10 m² Artek showcased the transversal functionality and small footprint of both classic and contemporary products, demonstrating that even spaces of limited proportions can be beautifully and intelligently furnished to serve different needs.
The visitors could discover Artek products composed in arrangements that defy the laws of gravity, while inviting appreciation of their versatility and aesthetic appeal. A playful take on a serious subject, “How big is small?” is a thoughtful response to the scarcity of urban space and the rise of smaller living quarters. Whether a lifestyle choice or a necessity, compact living is a concern that was close to the hearts of Artek founders Aino and Alvar Aalto since the beginning.
Embracing this smallest of spaces, Artek illustrated the clever space saving and enhancing qualities of its range. The Kaari Wall Shelf with Desk by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec works both as a storage solution for a living space and as a desk; Konstantin Grcic’s Rival Chair swivels between dining and working spaces. Stool 60 invites sitting, storage, display and stacking. Complementing the space, the 124° Mirrors by Daniel Rybakken, a series of wall-mounted or freestanding mirrors, work as space enhancers, while his new Kiila series functions as room organisers.
Classics with a contemporary footprint
“Beauty is the harmony of purpose and form” – Alvar Aalto, 1928
Designing intelligent and transversal solutions for better living has been at the core of Artek’s philosophy since the beginning. Alvar and Aino Aalto explored the possibilities of combining maximum efficiency and minimum space during multiple projects, such as the “Minimum Apartment” at the Arts and Crafts exhibition in Helsinki in 1930, and the Baker House Senior Dormitory in 1948, a commission by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. From the multipurpose Stool 60, to the stackable chair 68, combinable round and rectangular tables, the Aaltos designed many clever answers to problems posed by limited space, combining communal and private spaces, living and working environments.
Product news at Salone del Mobile 2018
Kiila collection: space organisers
Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken’s Kiila range has pursued a design tactic that is particularly relevant to Artek – the universal joint that forms the basis of his series of furniture is simple, effective, adaptable and visible. The result is an aesthetic that is visually intriguing and attractive, but not overbearing in its honesty. An exercise in rational design and engineered construction, the entire Kiila range is both multifunctional and compact – the Coat Rack and Coat Stand are cases in point, restrained in their use of space but providing sturdy storage for multiple levels of coats, clothes, scarves and hats. The pins that hold the wedge-shaped joints act as additional hanging pegs. The Kiila collection is now available to order in the UK.
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