Inspired by Aalto: Sustainability as an Attitude

Inspired by Aalto: Sustainability as an Attitude is a design exhibition that presents some of Alvar Aalto‘s classic furniture designs, and some of the works he has inspired, through a collection furniture, skillfully curated by Artek‘s former art director, Ben af Schultén. The exhibition is kindly sponsored by Artek.

Admittance to the exhibition is 500 ISK.
Opening hours are 10am-5pm – Wednesdays 10am-9pm.

The exhibition is a part of The Nordic House 50 years anniversary program and is The Nordic House main contribution to DesignMarch 2018.


Alvar Aalto (b. 1898) was one of the leading architects of the 20th century and his influence can still be seen far beyond both his homeland, Finland, and the Nordic region. One of the main characteristics of Aalto‘s life work is how he perceived his design as a Gesamtkunstwerk or a total work of art. This approach can be seen clearly throughout the Nordic House, where not just the building itself but every piece of original furniture, lighting and various surfaces were designed by Aalto.


Today, Aalto‘s designs are as popular as ever and his innovative furniture is produced and distributed by Artek, which Aalto co-founded in Helsinki in 1935 with his wife Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means.” Artek has through the years commissioned generations of Finnish and international designers, who have added great designs to the Artek portfolio: all of which are inspired by Aalto and true to his vision. The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting and accessories – and it stands for clarity, functionality and poetic simplicity.


Curator and exhibition designer: Ben af Schultén 

Aino Aalto
Alvar Aalto
Ben af Schultén
Brita Flander
Elissa Aalto
Harri Koskinen
Ilkka Suppanen & Raffaella Mangarotti
Ilmari Tapiovaara
Jenni Roininen
Johanna Gullichsen
Juha Leiviskä
Kari Virtanen
Konstantin Grcic
Marita Lybeck
Ritva Puotila
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Rudi Merz
Ulla Koskinen

Objects from

Penninn húsgögn
Ásbjörn Ólafsson ehf
Merking efh