After all, originality of "Art" is one of a kind which is able to be completed on one's own. Furnishing "Design" is a result of exchanging ideas between "author" and "manufacturer", the evolution of collaborations between the two parties. Price is not the only difference between an original and a copy. The process of trial-and-error and adjustment could have gone through months, years or even decades depending on the components, joints, quality check and source of materials. Emotion, sense of touch and every details exist with reasons.
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Every original design has to be respected, designers are "author/ inventor" in eyes of Vitra. To protect intellectual property rights and original designs, all designs are processed and completed in Switzerland while manufacturing procedures are occurred mainly in Germany and other EU countries, which original designs can be well-protected by law.
From education centre, airport, school, clubhouse, hotel, retail, restaurant to working areas, Vitra is literally everywhere. In 2013, Vitra officially acquired Artek without intervening their operation or designs. To Artek, Vitra is more like a bridge to the world, who provides endless connections of cultural and commercial projects.
Map of Artek: Limited Editions of Stool 60 is the spokesperson of the collaborations between Artek and Japanese craftsmen based on the lasting diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan
Vitra is a furnishing manufacturer who search for designers to collaborate, while Artek is established and operated by a group of designer/ interior designer/ architect/ artist who design and produce based on art and technology with their old friend A-factory, a wood-making manufacturer since 1920s. Furnishing and art exhibition was the head of Finland or we may say the breeding ground of modernisation of lifestyle in Finland. During these decades, their designs are always being used in royal theatres/ museums/ train stations and many more historical/ cultural areas.
創立至今，他們保留Alvar Aalto二三十年代的原版設計，並將生產毫無疑慮的交給老朋友A-Factory；這家木工坊每次處理的微批次，向來只用當地良好管理的可持續樹林；為免曬黑表面以保持芬蘭特別的「blond」淺色，他們會將木頭待在陰涼樹蔭下自然風乾一年後，才送到工坊進行生產步驟；合乎他們標準的樹木成長時間大約在50 - 80年，秉持Aalto由始至終的觀念「傢俬的耐用程度應該至少跟他生長的年齡一樣」。
Map of Artek: In 2020, Artek held a pop-up B/W exhibition in Geneva for Qwstion with a pair of artists who are known as duo of huge contrasts
If Vitra is the iCloud of the design industry, A-factory would be the back up hard disk of Artek and Alvar Aalto's design. Artek only uses timber from Finland, (1) which is grown with only a few batches in mixed forests, under strict control to prevent any damage from pests, (3) naturally air dried and felled in winter under shade for 12 months and (4) slowly turned pale beautifully. The selected highest quality of timber are up to 50 - 80 years old and Artek believed The furniture made should last at least as long as how much lifetime it took to grow.
已創立86年的ARTEK近年在已廢棄學校/辦公地方尋找ARTEK的二手傢俬開始了2-Cycle，維修整頓後再重新轉售，親身示範「one chair is more than enough」的核心 ，且再次強調「Buy now and keep forever」-「好」的傢俬是可以畢生，甚至傳承好幾代人使用的，即使是每天使用及流動率高的餐廳也十分合適。
Map of Artek: Nazuna Kyoto Gosho in Japan
Artek "2nd Cycle" searches used Aalto chairs and stool, reselling these old pieces to bring out the importance of conscious consumption after proper maintenance and repair. Honouring the natural materials and longevity of Artek's furniture, showmanship of "one chair is more than enough" is well-performed after decades. They are "buy now and keep forever", for life, for generations and even high turnover restaurants and retail areas.
ARTEK的「世界地圖」: 德國的精品咖啡烘培店Man Versus Machine
Map of Artek: Man Versus Machine Specialty Coffee Roaster in Munich, Germany
If "flexibility" of Vitra are born for contemporary living and working space with endless combinations, "still and sturdiness" of Artek perfectly matched with cultural and educational development. Even though lead time can be up to 5 months with limited shipments from Germany, they are made for who pursue pieces for life, pieces that would never fade and priced at proper level; For sure, respect towards themselves, designs and the mother nature. Furniture are not bounded by simplicity/ minimalism/ origin/ value for money, there are always and much more to discover and investigate when you try to get into a certain aspect. Replica and copies are eliminated through natural selection, but those with soul and belief sparkle as usual.
Invest in an original, for it will always retain its worth.
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Photo/ Artek, Vitra
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