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Tapio Wirkkala

Tapio Wirkkala was born on June 2, 1915 in Hanko, southern Finland and studied sculpture at the School for Industrial Design in Helsinki. In 1946, together with Kaj Franck, Wirkkala won a competition run by the Finnish glass manufacturer Iittala, followed by a position with the company, to whose international reputation he soon added with works such as the Kantarelli vase. In addition to serving as artistic director of Karhula-Iittala, Wirkkala held the position of artistic director at the Central School of Industrial Design in Helsinki from 1951-54 and collaborated with Raymond Loewy, who introduced him to Philip Rosenthal, resulting in a very fruitful collaboration. As a designer Wirkkala created numerous porcelain, cutlery, and cutlery lines for Rosenthal, many of which are still exhibited today in institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the MoMA in New York. In 1956, he founded his own design office in Helsinki and designed the groundbreaking TW003 pendant light for the Artek, the first light in which the light source was part of the design and which was reissued in 2015 for the 100th birthday of the Master. On 19 May 1985, Wirkkala died, but the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation still reminds us of the artistic works of the designer and his wife, the Finnish ceramist Rut Bryk.

Designer Tapio Wirkkala