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Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their aim was "to sell furniture and to promote modern living culture through exhibitions and other educational means".

In accordance with the radical spirit of its founders, today Artek remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture and art. The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. Clarity, functionality and poetic simplicity are paramount.

A characteristic of Alvar Aalto's work is the system of standardised individual components that can be assembled into a comprehensive furniture collection.

The origin of the idea can be seen in the L-leg, but the Aalto collection goes further: products can be easily combined and coordinated with each other, formats such as table sizes and heights are flexible, and surfaces and colours can be customised even for small projects.