AINO and ALVAR AALTO Shared Visions Innovations in Wood Bending Technology & Design of Furniture
28.3. – 30.8.2020
Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, Kobe
In 1924，Aino Marsio (later Aino Aalto 1894～1949) visited the office of Alvar Aalto (1898～1976), then an unknown architect, when partnership between Aino and Alvar started. Her participation added the perspective of daily living to Alvar’s works, making them easy and comfortable to use. The spaces he created started to have soft and gentle atmosphere, helping him walk his way to the world renowned architect. It is certain that Aino influenced him to move toward humanism and naturalism. They started from a small architect office and received a big influence from the international trend of modernism in late 1920’s. The modern pursuit for simple but practical products of low cost mass production fit for their ideas. Aalto’s started to pursue unique solution to the modernistic idea with the design taking the Finnish environmental Characteristics Into consideration and incorporating natural motifs. Their winning in the competitions made them design Paimio Sanatorium (1933) and Viipuri Library (1935), paving their way to the world class architect. The furniture they placed in these buildings laid foundation for Artek. It is sometimes believed that they had their roles to play, Alvar as an architect and Aino, also an architect and as main designer for interior and furniture. But their roles are inseparable. They acknowledged each other’s talent, mutually influencing and complementing. They were the real business and life partners. This exhibition features the quarter of a century between 1924 when Alvar and Aino started their journey toward. globally renowned architects to 1949 when Aino passed away. Our special focus this time is on their philosophy of interior design with emphasis on hygiene, functions and efficiency, in which Aino was deeply involved. At this venue, particular focus is placed on Aalto woodworking techniques. Aalto chairs are loved around the world, and this exhibition presents the development, from molding to commercialization, of the “L-leg”, in which natural wood is bent into an L-shape, and “lamella bentwood”. Made from laminated plywood. ln addition, visitors are introduce to the story of Artek, a company that was founded not only to sell and export Aalto furniture but also for the purpose of promoting modernism culture through exhibitions and educational programs.