Drumbeat: Vitra acquired Artek

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Article from the 2013-09-06

On the 6th of September, the traditional Finnish manufacturer Artek, announced that it would be adopted by Vitra.

The Artek company was founded in 1935 by Alvar Aalto among others and it was built on the radical concept of producing modern furniture which correspond with the highest demands of aesthetics, architecture and technology. Artek is decisively responsible for the development of modern designs basing on the Alvar Aalto heritage.

“Vitra has held Aalto and Artek in high regard for decades,” explains Rolf Fehlbaum, a member of Vitra’s Board of Directors. “The Finnish design company is more than a collection of furniture; like Vitra it is a commercial-cultural project which plays an avant-garde role in its sector. For Vitra it is important that Artek can continue and further develop this role.”

Artek will continue as a separate entity. Synergies between different operations will be explored. They primarily relate to manufacturing, distribution and logistics.

Mirkku Kullberg, Artek’s CEO, says: “The international dimension, which was a clear goal already in Artek’s founding manifesto of 1935, needed to be revitalized. That arena is where we want to be, and alliances or ownership arrangements are one way of building the future. In our judgment, having an owner from the industry was the best choice for Artek.”
Kullberg continues: “This is a great opportunity for the Finnish design industry and a major move for Artek, lifting the company to the next stage.”

The partnership between Vitra and Artek is based on shared values. Both companies are popular for their aim of describing new paths between design, architecture and arts. So there is a lot to expect in the future of the legendary Finnish manufacturer. “There is definitely a comeback of Nordic design and there is a renewed appreciation of Aalto’s work. Tapiovaara of course is much less known internationally, and it is high time that he be discovered,” Rolf Fehlbaum adds.


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