Artek was founded in 1935 by Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl in their pursuit of a new kind of environment for everyday life. They believed in a grand synthesis of the arts and wanted to make a difference in town planning as well as architecture and design.
Today Artek is renowned as being one of the most innovative contributors to modern design, building on the heritage of Alvar Aalto. Functionality and timeless aesthetics are the essential elements in the creation of every product that bears the Artek name.
Jørn Utzon is famous for his design of the Sydney Opera House built between 1957-1973. Influenced by his father's naval engineering drawings, Jørn must have enjoyed open and soaring hydrodynamic shapes, which he used in his lighting designs even before the ocean side Opera House. He designed to let light flow, bending metal into the shapes to direct light into a quality that would enhance a space. His Opera and Concert Lights even seek to direct music (which he too must have loved) gently back down toward the audience. It was this regard for the enjoyment of one"s senses that seems to have driven his designs, not the actual shape or style of an object. He said: "Architecture is about creating a humane and friendly world around us. It is the ability to understand what surroundings we need as people."