Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto (Finland 1898-1976)
"We should work for simple, good, undecorated things, things which are in harmony with the human being and organically suited to the little man in the street." Fun fact, Alvar Aalto’s 'Stool E60' can be found across the world at Apple’s 'Genius Bar' and in other areas of the store to serve as seating for customers. It has been nearly forty years since Aalto died, and his designs remain current and fresh. Aalto’s career spanned nearly fifty years from the 1920s to the 1970s and his work reflects the way design, art and architecture changed over that period. Aalto was an artist who was less a trailblazer and more a talent who saw the benefits of each new era in design and rode the wave; as the styles changed, so did Aalto’s work. Aalto’s styles spanned many schools ranging from his early work in Nordic Classicism to the rational International Style Modernism of the 1930s to the more organic modernist style that marked the 1940s. Aalto has his hand in a plethora of ventures from architecture the city planning to interior design, furniture, glassware and painting. In 1937, his design in glass, the Savoy vase and it was later displayed for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris. The simplicity and colour options have made the Savoy vase as popular today as it was in the 1930s. His design for the Finnish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair cemented his reputation in the USA after lauded by the critics and called a"work of genius" by Frank Lloyd Wright. While perhaps not a movement trailblazer, Alvar Aalto was an accomplished inventor. Many of Aalto’s small-scale experiments with wood led to later larger architectural forms and details. His experimental and innovative work in this area led to a number of patents like a new form of laminated bent-plywood furniture in 1932.