TEN: 10 years, 10 stories, 10 products at Artek 2nd Cycle selling exhibition

The Artek 2nd Cycle store in Helsinki is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a selling exhibition consisting of specially selected rarities and beautifully patinated pieces by Finnish designers including Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maija Heikinheimo and Paavo Tynell.

Artek 2nd Cycle Armchair 402
This version of the Armchair 402 by Alvar Aalto dates back to the 1940s, just a decade after the design was first produced. It has been reupholstered in the classic Zebra fabric, originally discovered by Aino Aalto during her European travels.

ON OCTOBER 2021, the Artek 2nd Cycle store in Helsinki celebrates its tenth anniversary by hosting a new selling exhibition TEN, which showcases a curated selection of ten pre-loved designs that embody the mission and express the ethos of Artek 2nd Cycle. 

From 15 October, these unique products can be purchased in person from the Artek 2nd Cycle store or online through its digital pop-up shop.

Artek 2nd Cycle Ben af Schultén poster
From the very beginning, Artek used posters to communicate its progressive ideas and products. This striking example was designed in 1985 by Ben af Schultén, Artek's multifaceted design director, in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.

Among the pieces on sale are an early edition of Alvar Aalto’s iconic Stool 60 with a beautiful patina; an alluringly varnished set of Ilmari Tapiovaara’s classic Domus chair; striking designs by the Aaltos, including rare Schnapps glasses from Aino Aalto’s influential Bölgeblick range; and everything from a rocking chair to a vanity mirror by designers including Ben af Schultén, Maija Heikinheimo, Paavo Tynell and Yrjö Kukkapuro.

Artek 2nd Cycle is Artek’s platform for pre-owned Finnish design: it buys and sells rediscovered furniture, lighting and other everyday objects and celebrates the character and beauty that these timeless designs gain through daily use, preserving their qualities through a process of careful, considered reconditioning.

Artek 2nd Cycle Stool 60
Worn, repainted and beautifully aged Aalto stools were among the first pieces of furniture that Artek 2nd Cycle sought out, making them the foundation of its collection today. This patinated example is an early edition of one of the most cherished Artek products: Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto.

Artek 2nd Cycle promotes conscious consumption

Showcasing the longevity and enduring appeal of Artek’s furniture, and of other Finnish design pieces, Artek 2nd Cycle promotes conscious consumption – the idea that what we buy should be chosen with care and cherished rather than disposed of. This is a key principle of a sustainable, circular economy, and one that has always been important to Artek.

In 1935, its founders sought to enhance modern-day life through progressive designs that offered both practical and aesthetic durability. This goal was manifested through innovative techniques, natural materials and standardized repairable parts.

Artek 2nd Cycle Paavo Tynell 9227 table lamp
Lighting always played an important role in Alvar Aalto’s buildings, and he often worked closely with other designers and manufacturers in the production of custom light fittings. One of the most important of these collaborators was Paavo Tynell, who designed this 9227 table lamp in 1950.
Artek 2nd Cycle Mija Heikinheimo hand mirror
Over the years, an array of lesser-known architects and designers worked at the Artek drawing office. This leather-bound hand mirror was designed in the 1950s by the talented designer Maija Heikinheimo, Artek’s creative director at the time.

The Artek 2nd Cycle project started in 2006, when Artek began collecting second-hand furniture designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto, tracking it down everywhere from flea markets and yard sales to old factories, schools and shipyards.

In 2011, the Artek 2nd Cycle store opened its doors in the heart of Helsinki. Over time, its focus has expanded to encompass a wide range of Finnish design, including lighting, carpets, ceramics, tableware and fine-art prints, from the early 20th century to today.

The selling exhibition TEN is open from 15 October to 6 November at the Artek 2nd Cycle store (Pieni Roobertinkatu 4, Helsinki) and at the Artek 2nd Cycle digital pop-up shop.

See also:

All Artek products >

Edit: Design Stories Images: Artek

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