Artek was founded in 1935 in Helsinki by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The business strategy of the company was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means”. The founders of Artek advocated a new kind of environment for everyday life. They believed in a grand synthesis of the arts and wanted to make a difference in architecture and design as well as in town planning.
80 years after its creation, and in the spirit of its radical founders, Artek continues to break new ground at the intersection of design, art and architecture. The Artek collection comprises furniture, lighting and accessories by the Finnish masters Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala, Eero Aarnio and Yrjö Kukkapuro. Artek also works with leading international architects, designers and artists, such as Shigeru Ban, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Harri Koskinen, Enzo Mari and Tobias Rehberger.
Artek's headquarter is in Helsinki, Finland, where Artek also operates the flagship store Artek Helsinki on Keskuskatu and the Artek 2nd Cycle store.