In the footsteps of Aino Aalto, a pioneering architect and designer

Artek Helsinki
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25th of January marks the anniversary of the birth of Aino Marsio-Aalto, a pioneering designer who brought everyday beauty into Finnish homes and promoted good living. Her work can be seen in public spaces and Finnish homes to this day. Aino Aalto worked alongside her husband, the legendary Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, as a designer of equal standing.

Aino Aalto co-founded the interior design company Artek in 1935 and served as its head of design, as well as its managing director, in the 1940s. Inspired by the modern and social ideals of the time, she designed furniture, textiles and glass art that combined practicality with everyday beauty.

The popularity of her furniture, in both public spaces and homes, continues to this day. For example, her Bölgeblick series of glassware, which was awarded the Gold Medal at the 1936 Milano Triennale, is still a mainstay in most Finnish homes.

Bölgeblick glassware designed by Aino Aalto
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You can follow in the footsteps of Aino Aalto throughout Helsinki, starting at the home museum of Aino and Alvar in Munkkiniemi. The couple designed their own home and studio, which was built in 1935-1936.

In the centre of Helsinki, you can observe modern Aalto design in the Savoy Restaurant. Lots of the furniture and fixtures that were designed by Aino are still in their original condition.

Don't miss the Artek shop, and make sure you check out Artek 2nd Cycle, a shop which collects and sells preloved furniture–including rarities designed by Aino–too. 

Aalto glassware can be purchased, or just admired, at pretty much any Finnish department store, as well as from Iittala outlets.

You can read more about Aino Aalto on the Alvar Aalto Foundation's website.

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Aino Aalto was a pioneering designer. Her designs brought everyday beauty into Finnish homes and promoted good living. You can still see her work in public spaces and Finnish homes today.