The Narrative of a Design Icon – 77- year-old Aalto vase
Admiring is the power of such a simple object which clearly reflects the spirit of the Finnish people – their respect for nature and a profound humanism. This example distinctly points out the strength of one’s national identity that had the opportunity to be created by architects, designers and local companies. An indispensable link in that chain are the companies with the ability to recognize innovative ideas, and lead their way to the market.
The timeless value of handicraft
The Aalto vase (Iittala), the main protagonist of this narrative, has started its life as a set of rough sketches drawn with pencil, white ink and crayon on coloured paper. The decisive moment for the birth of this design classic happened at the World Fair in Paris in 1937 where it won the first prize.
Nature as Aalto’s inexhaustible inspiration – manifests itself along the Aalto collection that symbolizes Finnish landscapes and numerous lakes. The interpretation of fluid forms has found its expression in new materials and colours, remaining loyal to the original idea of design.
People say that a master among glass-blowers can recognize his work among many, just as well as the peculiarity of his colleagues’ work.
preserving authentic production
After more than half a century the demanding handicraft has not mislead the management of the company to find a method of industrialization in tune with global tendencies. The loyalty towards the authentic process of production proved to be something the user respects and likes.
Alvar AAlto – messenger of the user oriented design
Alvar Aalto was first of all an architect, he designed furniture, often as an addition to his architecture. But the design of glass objects was a field in which he, free of pragmatic limits, spontaneously expressed the power of creating. That is why the Aalto vase is a perfect example of the freedom this designer felt while creating this puzzling shape as a juxtaposition to the growing industrial production at the end of the 1930s.
And now, 77 years later we’ve found ourselves at the turning point when handicraft massively grows again as a juxtaposition to the oversized industrial production.
Aalto believed that good design should be a mirror and a part of everyday life. He was pioneering the vision that one should let users to decide how to use the objects. As one of the best masters of modern architecture and Scandinavian design – he has influenced many generations.