This year marks the 140th anniversary of one of the most iconic Nordic design companies, Iittala. Like millions of others around the world, I have adored and collected this instantly recognised brand for years, and was I lucky enough to write an in-depth piece about them for the latest edition of UK based magazine Ethos.
Called ‘Icons of Change’, in it I take a closer look at the political history of the Finnish republic, as well as its continued commitment to improving the everyday life of its people through good design.
I discuss how IIttala as a company, has grown from a small glass workshop in a remote village to the largest in the Nordic region, with its deep-rooted values and pioneering glassblowers playing an integral part in this story.
As you would expect there are lots of exciting launches throughout the year to celebrate this phenomenal milestone, including a very special Recycled Glass Collection, which for the first time sees pieces by Alvar Aalto, Oiva Toikka and Jasper Morrison made entirely out of waste glass.
There is an Anniversary Collection, which features new shapes, new additions and new colours, including a beautiful shade of amethyst, that changes in tone with the light. As well as the new Kartta series, which are a set of sculptural art pieces created in collaboration with New York based Finnish artist, Santtu Mustonen.
Running alongside all of this however is a fantastic exhibition and much anticipated book, which was recently launched at the Design Museum in Helsinki. While I may not be able to visit in person myself right now, thankfully the show’s curators, architect Florencia Colombo and industrial designer Ville Kokkonen, gave a fascinating talk and behind the scenes tour.
Eighteen months in the making, ‘Iittala – Kaleidoscope from Nature to Culture’, showcases over ten thousand items from their extensive archives as well as loans from private and public collections.
The exhibition focusses on four main themes, ‘Nature’, ‘Thought’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Culture’, taking visitors on an incredible journey of discovery through Iittala’s past, present and much anticipated future.
‘Iittala – Kaleidoscope from Nature to Culture’ runs at the Design Museum in Helsinki until 19th September 2021, meanwhile the accompanying ‘Iittala’ book is available to pre-order now, priced £59.95 from publishers Phaidon.
Image 1 by Nicola Capper, 2-9 courtesy of Iittala.
Like this post? Then read more about Oiva Toikka and his celebrated Birds collection for Iittala.