Posts tagged with "Finland":
From two of the minds behind Hem, this Finnish company plans to reinvigorate furniture manufacturing
“I’ve worked with many designers over the years and I used to try to give my own input and opinions,” said design entrepreneur Stefan Mahlberg, of his latest venture, Aito. “Gradually I learned that it’s useless, because who am I to say what the consumer might want?”
Aito, the latest venture from Mahlberg and Cezary Górzyński, two of the minds behind Scandinavian design giants Flexhouse, Hem, and One Nordic, is an attempt to push the furniture industry forward by taking a step back. Aito, a Finnish word that appropriately translates to “genuine,” is a multifaceted brand that revolves around creating the highest quality product at the best value by leveraging the network of manufacturers and producers the team built through its previous companies.
On one level, independent designers and brands can work with Aito to produce virtually any furniture for any project. So, if a designer needs to furnish a hotel, retail store, or restaurant, he or she can utilize Aito to source the best materials and reliable factories to produce the necessary chairs, tables, or shelves—eliminating weeks of legwork and mitigating risk. That same furniture could then be for sale through Aito. “Projects are wasted opportunities to build interesting products and then make sure they are available,” explained Mahlberg. Already, Tom Dixon, Harri Koskinen, and Ateljé Sotamaa are confirmed to be working with Aito, as well as many others yet to be disclosed.
What makes Aito radically different from conventional high-design brands is the level to which it is focused on its clients. “The consumer will determine whether or not the product is interesting,” said Mahlberg. So while the company’s connections and its designers’ portfolios are universally impressive, “Many of these things have no relation to each other except that people want an authentic, well-made product—they are night and day in terms of design,” Mahlberg said. He went on to explain that while brands who represent Scandinavian design, like HAY, Muuto, and Hem, have “well-curated, nice collections, we also need a broader take on the aesthetic.”
On another level, Aito is working within Flexhouse and its in-house design teams to produce its own projects. Conveniently, Aito was able to move into Hem’s old Helsinki office-workshop after Hem was sold this past February. The industrial space already had many of the components that Aito needed: A paint shop, woodworking and metal working machinery, as well as CNC-milling, vacuum pressing, and upholstering capabilities.
With this setup, Aito has everything it needs to create prototypes, one-off furniture, and even run small series. Having purchased the rights to classic Finnish designers’ work, Aito will also use its new home to produce and sell legacy remakes of pieces by Ilmari Tapiovaara and Eero Aarnio. The plan, explained Mahlberg, is to reintroduce older models that he and his team feel will resonate with a broad audience.
The company will fully launch spring 2017, but a showroom is opening in Toronto this fall and furniture will begin to be sold at the end of this year.
GH-76091181 comprises a ring of slender, sculptural towers faced with timber shingles, reminiscent of vernacular architecture, gathered around a cathedral-like central space. The towers, with their play of light and shadow, create an architectural beacon, visible by land or sea, while the central space, sheltered from extremes of weather yet part of the quayside, provides an exceptional new site for public events on the waterfront. Exhibition galleries are housed in timber cabinets stacked within the towers. Bridges connecting the towers offer respite space for visitors between experiencing art and offer new viewing points over the city and harbor.From the design team:
GH-5631681770 reconfigures circulation and use of the East and West Harbors to establish an area of industrial activity and an area of cultural activity, with the museum as the link between the city and the waterfront. In a critical shift from the idea of a building as static object to a building that accommodates the flux of daily life, a city street runs through the interior of the museum, opening it to appropriation by the citizens and creating a combination of programs: a museum program and an unpredictable street program, in which visitors may become productive and creative users of the space.From the design team:
GH-04380895 links the museum to the rest of the city through a pedestrian footbridge to Tähtitorninvuori Park and a promenade along the port, including a food hall and a market during the warm months. The museum programs are housed in pavilion-scale buildings treated as independent, fragmentary volumes within this landscape, allowing for a strong integration of outdoor display and event spaces with interior exhibition galleries. The ensemble is made to stand out from afar by being composed around a landmark tower. The use of charred timber in the facade evokes the process of regeneration that occurs when forests burn and then grow back stronger than before.From the design team:
GH-121371443 drapes a skin of textured glass panels over a bar-like, two-story interior structure, creating an environmentally sustainable public space between the facade and the gallery volumes, with natural light diffused throughout. In an unusual innovation, the element that makes the building sustainable—the intelligent glass wrapper, which uses technology such as Nanogel glazing and rollable thermal shutters—is also the element that distinguishes the project visually, giving the building an ethereal presence. Within the building, an annex for the work of younger Nordic artists is paired with a market hall, and a service pavilion encloses a sculpture garden.From the design team:
GH-1128435973 creates two facilities in dialogue with each other. The ground floor is an adaptive reuse of the existing Makasiini Terminal, conceived as a public space that extends the pedestrian boardwalk into the building. This is a place for education, civic activity, and incubating ideas. The second floor is an exhibition hall on stilts, which hovers above the terminal building, partly removed from everyday life. The long rectangular volume offers a flexible space for all types of exhibitions and adheres to the notion of a museum as a space apart. Through this dual scheme, the proposed museum could engage its public to co- create value and meaning.From the design team:
GH-5059206475 reuses the laminated wood structure of the Makasiini Terminal to rebuild a wooden volume that exactly follows the geometry of the original, and preserves the current views from the park and the adjacent buildings. Within this structure—essentially an undisturbed network of existing conditions—the project creates 31 rooms: eight of them measuring 20 x 20 m, 18 of them 6.5 x 6.5 m, four of them 10 x 10 m, and one 40 x 100 m. This rigid set of spatial conditions is combined with a deliberate distribution of climates based on the program and principles of sustainability, with each room acclimatized independently so that the galleries together form a 'thermal onion.'