2023 marked 90 years of the Stool 60, and the Villi edition, which is a permanent addition to the Artek catalogue, marks a new chapter for the Turku-based organisation. Produced in collaboration with Formafantasma, the Italian design duo, the Villi takes a fresh look at one of the most iconic pieces of furniture of the 20th century.
Here, the imperfection is celebrated openly. The simple perfectionism associated with the standard Stool 60 is countered neatly by knots and insect trails, with the natural markings of the wild birch fully on display. The warm, beautiful qualities of birch remain in place, but this type of wood gives a fascinating insight into the changing conditions of the Finnish forests that are synonymous with Artek as a company, with the intention here being to embrace a new kind of aesthetic, one that encourages sustainability and the use of materials that may otherwise be discarded or ignored.
As one of the great architects and furniture designers of the 20th century, Finnish designer Alvar Aalto breathed life and warmth into modernism, placing emphasis on "organic" geometry; supple, natural materials; and a respect for human feeling.