..."Ilmari Tapiovaara" at Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland To mark the centenary of Ilmari Tapiovaara's birth the Finnish Design Museum in Helsinki is devoting a major retrospective to one of the most important protagonists of "Scandinavian Modernism" yet one who remains largely in the shadows of the likes of Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen or Hans J... Following the completion of his Interior Design studies at Helsinki Central School of Arts and Crafts - the wonderfully named Taideteollisuuskeskuskoulu - Ilmari Tapiovaara undertook a six month tenure in Le Corbusier's Paris studio before returning to Finland to first take up a position with Finnish furniture manufacturer Asko Oy in Lahti before subsequently undertaking ever more freelance projects...
Although Ilmari Tapiovaara is not the best known among the great names of modern design history, the design legends with which the Finnish architect and designer collaborated, and whom he taught, is long. After studying in Helsinki, Tapiovaara worked with Le Corbusier in Paris, later Alvar Aalto and Yirö Kukkapuro were among his pupils, while he maintained lively correspondence with Mies van der Rohe. In the 1950s and 60s, Tapiovaara taught at numerous institutions in America and Europe, he also held the artistic direction of the Finnish furniture factory Asko and in 1950 founded his own design office with his wife Annikki Tapiovaara. A graphic artist, architect, photographer, and designer of a wide range of products, Tapiovaara's main pre-occupation was to design an all-purpose chair, which was functional and collapsible - important examples here are its stackable chairs Lukki 1 and Wilhelmiina. The elegance and the extraordinary, intelligent handling of his treatment of wood can be experienced in designs such as the Tee-Tee Table or the Pirkka Stool, which are now produced by Artek.
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