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Thu 22.3.

Milan 2012 preview: ‘Kiki’ by Ilmari Tapiovaara reissued by Artek (FI)

Posted by Malgorzata Stankiewicz on 22.03.2012 - Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' range, reissued by Artek; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914 – 1999) was an acclaimed Finnish interior architect and furniture designer.

Now, exactly 52 years after ‘Kiki’ range has won him the gold prize at the Milan Triennale in 1960, the renowned furniture brand Artek is about to rerelease this beautifully reduced collection of upholstered, tubular steel furniture. The series, which Tapiovaara developed after having designed an initial, space-saving stackable chair intended for use in large spaces such as conference halls and auditorium, now also includes a two- and three-seater sofa and bench models; a side, sofa and standard-height table, as well as our favourite, a small but brilliantly vibrant tangerine stool.

Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' range, reissued by Artek; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

One of the most popular pieces of public furniture in Finland, ‘Kiki’ will be presented, along with Harri Koskinen’s new lounge chair addition to his ‘Lento‘ series, in less than a month during this year’s edition of Milan’s Salone del Mobile fair.

Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' range, reissued by Artek; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

More about the series:

 

‘Tapiovaara wanted to design inexpensive furniture for broader audience. He made use of materials that were readily available in Finland in the 1940s, such as solid birch. Later in the 1950s, he began to develop multipurpose chairs made of steel tubing and plywood. Ilmari Tapiovaara designed Kiki in 1960. It was originally conceived as a chair whose stackability allowed it to be used to seat large groups, such as in auditoriums. In the Kiki series Tapiovaara employed a more clean cut design idiom instead of the more organic style he had favoured previously. Instead of wood, he chose oval steel tubing as the structural and unifying element of the whole Kiki collection. Kiki was a huge success, establishing the current direction for furniture design at this time.’

Two-seater sofa from Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' series; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Two-seater sofa from Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' series; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Bench from Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' series; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Detail of Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' lounge chair; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Stackable 'Kiki' chairs by Ilmari Tapiovaara; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Leather-upholstered chair by Ilmari Tapiovaara; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Tangerine 'Kiki' stool by Ilmari Tapiovaara; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Ilmari Tapiovaara's 'Kiki' range, reissued by Artek; photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

to the Artek collections on Architonic

 

to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s designs on Architonic

 

read ‘Love in a Cold Climate: Architonic meets Artek chief Mirkku Kullberg’ article on Architonic

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