Last month, Artek celebrated a century of Finnish independence with some glossy Alvar Aalto reissues launched at IMM Cologne, while also revealing a host of exciting new collaborations. Then, at Maison et Objet, the brand worked with longtime collaborators Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec on a new hand-drawn fabric design.
Most recently, at Stockholm Furniture Fair, it has sparked up a fresh partnership with Daniel Rybakken for two new collections, marking the Norwegian designer's first official foray out of lighting and into the wider world of furniture design.
Daniel Rybakken's 124° mirror for Artek
The ‘Kiila’ storage and seating collections are unmistakably Artek; flat-packed, heavy-weight and engineered with finesse. But Rybakken brought a personal touch to the project. ‘I wanted to identify what constitutes an Artek product and reflect on those qualities without delivering something that was pastiche or a copy of Aalto,’ he explains.
Comprising a coat stand, coat rack, podium and bench, ‘Kiila’ is a fine example of Artek and Rybakken's melding of art and technology. All of the fixtures are exposed and double as coat hooks, while maintaining refined angles.
‘Kiila’ coat rack. Photography: Kalle Sanner and Daniel Rybakken
For the 124° series of mirrors, Rybakken drew upon the experiments with natural light that he uses for his lighting collections. As the name suggests, the mirrors are bent at a specific angle to give a reflection that is not your own. Rybakken explains to Wallpaper* that he is playing on consciousness; you know you won't see yourself, but your subconscious is still surprised when you look.
Both collections were displayed in an installation at contemporary dance theatre MDT in Skeppsholmen. A space that usually holds performances, Artek appointed Berlin architects Meyer-Grohbrügge, who riffed on the setting with a theatrical layout that saw the mirrors floating on a circular set.