Artek was founded in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. The name Artek is a synthesis of "art" and ‘technology’ – concepts central to the international modernist movement that came to prominence in the 1920s. It was Walter Gropius, a key proponent of modernism, who coined the motto ‘art and technology – a new unity.’ Technology was understood to include science and industrial production methods, while the conception of art extended beyond the fine arts to encompass architecture and design. Modernism aimed to achieve a fruitful union of these two spheres. This same aspiration guided the founders of Artek in their naming of the company.
ClassiCon has, from its inception, aspired not only to offer pieces by established figures such as Eileen Gray and Eckart Muthesius but also to foster contemporary design and to present selected examples alongside these classics from current designers such as Konstantin Grcic and Barber & Osgerby. ClassiCon produces and sells the Eileen Gray Collection as worldwide licensee of Aram Designs Ltd, London. In the early 1970s, Eileen Gray began to collaborate with Zeev Aram to develop her furniture and lamps for series production. Eileen Gray then transferred marketing rights for her designs to Aram in 1973. The ClassiCon brand stands for quality, individuality and a timeless aesthetic – regardless of passing fashions.
Founded in 1882, the company is currently managed by the third generation of the family with Giovanni and Michele Gervasoni. Collaboration with some of the most qualified international designers such as Paola Navone – Gervasoni art director since 1998, guarantees the aesthetic quality of the products and continued experimentation with new materials. Sustainability is a commitment that the company pursues in all phases of the production cycle. Commitment to the environment is recognized by several environmental certifications: the Quality certification UNI EN ISO 9001: 2008, the Environmental Management Certification UNI EN ISO 14001: 2004, the Occupational Health and Management Safety System Certification OHSAS 18001: 2012.
The Isokon brand was founded in the 1930s as part of a vision for modern living. It continues today as Isokon Plus manufacturing the original modernist designs and contemporary products. Using both traditional craftsmanship and the tools of modern manufacture Isokon Plus are proud to use iconic designs to produce hand-made furniture in London that is built to last the test of time. Today Isokon Plus is based in Hackney Wick and run by directors Chris McCourt and Mark Smith. Chris has been the custodian of the Isokon brand since 1982 and expanded the original product range to include the work of contemporary designers. Mark studied at the Institute of Arts at the Australian National University specialising in furniture design and production and has been involved with the company for over a decade.
The Röthlisberger company has existed since 1928. Since then a lot has happened. The former joinery is today a total supplier in interior design with an in-house engineering department. The traditional workbench has been replaced by state-of-the-art, CNC-controlled equipment and machinery that can be adapted to any imaginable project. In addition to the processing of wood we plan and construct with metal, glass, stone and many other materials. Since 1977, in cooperation with leading designers, Röthlisberger have been producing their own collection of high quality designer furniture. The tasks have become more versatile and the company as well. Much however has also remained unchanged. In particular, the Swiss quality that characterises every product that leaves the factory.
The unique success story of Thonet began with the work of master carpenter Michael Thonet (1796-1871), which established the transition from manual furniture production to industrial production. Michael Thonet succeeded in making the breakthrough to industrial production in 1859 in Vienna with chair No.14, later called the „Vienna coffee house chair“, for which the innovative technique of bending solid beech wood was used. The individual production steps were standardized and the division of labor concept was implemented for the ﬁrst time in furniture production.
More than a century ago, USM was known as a pre-eminent producer of iron works and window fittings. In 1961, Paul Schaerer, grandson of USM founder Ulrich Schaerer, chose to take the company in a new and dramatic direction by transforming the factory from a large, manually-oriented metal production plant into a modern, industrial enterprise.
Woodnotes is a Finnish design company founded in 1987 by textile designer Ritva Puotila and her son Mikko Puotila. The company is still owned by its founders. The original concept behind Woodnotes products was to combine artistic creativity inspired by Finland’s rugged nature with advanced technologies to shape of Finnish raw materials: wood and paper. Woodnotes is the first company in the world to use paper yarn in a contemporary way in functional textiles. Ritva Puotila wanted to use paper yarn because of its properties – to make the most of its unique characteristics, not as a substitute for other materials. The Woodnotes collection, which has expanded over the years from carpets made from paper yarn to a comprehensive concept, is augmented every year with new, relevant, and innovative products.