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Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business strategy of the company was to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living through 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 architecture and design as well as in town planning.

Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, creating new paths at the intersection of design, architecture and art. The Artek collection comprises furniture, lighting, and accessories by the Nordic masters Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala, Eero Aarnio and Yrjo Kukkapuro. Artek also works with leading international architects, designers and artists, such as Shigeru Ban, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Harri Koskinen, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.