Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #15

In my previous post about this series I introduced the terms “Scandinavian Design” (which includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden & Finland) and “Danish Modern”. Today, the subject will be “Swedish Modern”. This term first became current in the 1930’s when modern Swedish design was becoming increasingly well known in Europe and …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #14

The term “Scandinavian Design” (which includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) originated from the show “Design in Scandinavia” that toured the US and Canada from 1954 to 1957. Promoting the “Scandinavian way of living”, it exhibited various works by Nordic designers and established the meaning of the term that continues …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #12

The Hille furniture company was established in 1906 in London by Salamon Hille, a Russian emigrant, to renovate and reproduce 18th century furniture. By the 1930’s the company had already an international reputation, supplying products all over the world. Then in 1948, the MoMa in New York held the “International …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #11

Italian furniture manufacturer Arflex was founded in 1947 (a division of the Pirelli Corporation otherwise known for rubber tire manufacturing). The company’s initial purpose was to develop materials for the furniture industry, notably polyurethane foam and Pirelli webbing. By 1948, Pirelli commissioned Marco Zanuso, one of the very first Italian …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #10

Established in 1954, Zanotta SpA is one of the leaders in modern and contemporary Italian furniture design and production. Guided by the insight and entrepreneurship abilities of its founder Aureilio Zanotta, the company flourished in the 60’s and 70’s working with internationally respected architects and designers such as Carlo Mollino, …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #9

The innovative Italian furniture firm TECNO S.p.A. was founded in 1953 by Osvaldo and his twin brother Fulgenzio Borsani. Since the early 1920’s Osvaldo´s father, Gaetano Borsani had been running the furniture Atelier Varedo, producing bespoke furniture in line of great deco craftsmanship. In 1932 the company then changed its …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #8

Artek is a Finnish furniture company founded in 1935 by renowned architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto, visual arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl. The founders chose a non-Finnish name, the neologism Artek was meant to manifest the desire to combine art and technology. This …

Building up an icon (mass produced) – Part #6

The London based ISOKON firm was founded in 1929 to design and construct modernist houses and flats, which later led to furniture and fittings for them. Originally Isokon was called Wells Coates and Partners, stemmed from an association between Jack Pritchard of the Venesta Plywood Company and the designer and …