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tapio wirkkala

Design genius, Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985), is considered to be one of the Finnish leaders in modern industrial art bringing his artistic talents to many genres. Wirkkala is well known for his brilliant work in glass, furniture, sculpture, city planning, graphics and even banknotes.

Although he had exhibits throughout the world, Tapio avoided people as much as possible, spending most of his time in his remote cabin deep in the Finnish forest.  Often his prototypes were delivered to him via helicopter since there were no roads that reached his cabin. 

It is no surprise that his self-isolation, surrounded by nature, served as the main inspiration for his work. Wirkkala received numerous awards throughout his diverse career such as the Lunning Prize, Pro Finlandia Medal and the Prince Eugen Medal.  He also received three gold medals at the Milan Triennale.

His most lasting relationship was with Iittala, winning his first design award in 1946.  Not only was Tapio a featured designer for Iittala, he also served as their artistic director, working to build their global reputation and was instrumental in their arrival as one of the most well known Nordic design brands in the world.  With Iittala, he created more than 400 glass designs, including some of their most iconic collections – Ultima Thule and the “Tapio” series.  

Tapio Wirkkala has collaborated with the following brands: Iittala >

Next designer: Birger Kaipiainen >