Art + Design + I Want This

Alvar, meet Snufkin. Snufkin, Alvar.

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I’m not sure how this passed me by until now, but Artek has issued their classic Alvar Aalto-designed stool 60, children’s stool NE60 and children’s chair N65 in a special Moomin edition! YES! I said Aalto stools with MOOMINS on them! That’s an explosion of Finnish-ness almost too awesome to believe.

From Artek’s March 2013 press release:

The motifs selected for Artek’s furniture comprise decorative and masterfully drawn Moomin characters from Tove Jansson’s output from the 1950s. There are several stages and styles in the artistic trajectory of Jansson’s Moomin figures, ranging from detailed and precise miniatures to expressive and stylised images. Comic strips and illustrated books were a genre apart, characterised by a highly developed visual style. Jansson’s beautiful line work and the sympathetic Moomin characters are a beautiful complement to the clear lines of Aalto’s furniture, while imparting a new feel to it.

The whole press release is great, especially the character descriptions. Snufkin was inspired by Atos Wirtanen, “a left-wing intellectual and an active member of the Finnish parliament in the 1940s.” I had a lizard named Snufkin when I was a kid, and he always struck me as being pretty progressive.

So you take a stool designed 80 years ago, add some 60-year-old drawings, and you get something that looks totally fresh and new and still modern in 2013. Isn’t that great? This is exactly why I care about good design — not to mention why the best children’s books are the ones you still want to read when you’re a grown-up. Good stuff is always going to be good stuff. (Well, maybe not asbestos. But you get what I’m saying.) I want them all!

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11 Comments

  • Reply JoaniSchofield July 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    WOW. Best furniture ever!!! Now all I have to do is justify buying it…

  • Reply Jade Sheldon-Burnsed July 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Eeeee!!

  • Reply Martha July 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Little My has the BEST FACE EVER. Every time I see Jansson’s illustrations it makes me wish I’d grown up with these books.

  • Reply kelly w July 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Can’t figure out how to order, though. :( I want the STOOL E60 MOOMIN ( http://www.artek.fi/products/chairs/407 ). Am I missing something obvious?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 July 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      The only things available for sale in the Artek shop are the ones with a “buy” link, so maybe it’s sold out! I haven’t looked into other US retailers, sorry. :(

    • Reply kelly w July 11, 2013 at 1:10 am

      it’s okay, I almost surely couldn’t afford it anyway. Wistful sigh. But at least I have pictures! Thank you for this post. :)

  • Reply Janina July 11, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I’ve read throufh your blog bit by bit over the last couple of weeks, whenever the summer here in Finland let me down. Needless to say that i really like your blog, right :)

    That said, I couldn’t agree more with you on the Moomin stools! I’ve been to our closest design store last weekend (again, it’s dangerous since it’s only about 2 minutes from my flat) and stood probably 5 minutes in front of those stools because I just fell in love (don’t know what the store clerks thought though. Haven’t bought one yet but maybe…

    Enjoy your day :)

  • Reply Jen July 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

    AMAZING

  • Reply Mel July 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Well, I’ve never even heard of Moomins, but I love all things Scandinavian (including Finnish :), so thank you for bringing it all to my attention. Love it!
    Mel.oxo

  • Reply karolina July 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this! I grew up with Moomins, in Poland (where I knew them as “Moominki” — a diminutive form for added cuteness), listening to audio recordings of the stories as a child. Yay, Moomins!

  • Reply Kristina July 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    My grandmother is Finnish (I’m born in Norway) and a total Mumin-geek. And my uncle’s name is Alvar. I’m feeling scandi-proud right about now :)

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