Göran Hongell (1902-1973),was one of the pioneers of Finnish glass tradition. Hired by Karhula-Iittala in 1932 he went on to become the first permanent designer to be hired by a Finnish glassworks in 1940. To create his glass are he worked with glassblowers to develop special techniques and colour hues. His creations were simple and unadorned with a spirit of modernism combined with attenuated art deco.
Designs for Iittala: Silko (1938); Maininki (1938); Säde (1939); Hongellin hattu (1941); Aarne (1948); Aulanko (1950’s).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Aarne (1948).
Awards: Aarne (1948): gold - Milan Triennale (1954).
Gunnel Nyman (1909-1948),an internationally renowned Finnish designer known for her art glass and glassware sets, Nyman is considered a true pioneer who in the 1950’s laid the foundation of Finnish glass art. Nyman combined modern design with her free thinking and boldly transformed thick crystal with geometrical forms into clear lines and wavy patterns.
Designs for Iittala: Ovaali (1946); Calla (1946); Muna (1947); Ylösnousemus (1947).
Awards: for her life’s work: Milan Triennale (1951 posthumously).
Lisa Johansson-Pape (1907-1989),though she also designed furniture, was a lecturer and exhibition architect she was best known for her work in lighting and became the most significant Finnish lighting designer in the second half of the 1900’s.
Designs for Iittala: Stella (1963); Viola (1963); Anemonie (1963); Achillea (1963); Chrysanthemum(1963).
Awards: Milan Triennale (1951); hanging lamp (1954): gold - Milan Triennale (1954); Order of the Lion of Finland (1957).
Aino Aalto (1894-1949),designed buildings, interiors, furniture, and textiles. Some of Aino Aalto’s expansion into functionalism resulted in glass products that were simple, stackable and space saving. The design inspired by the rings made in water by a thrown rock, along with the multipurpose nature of the glasses made Bölgeblick an internationally renowned design classic. Aino Aalto also designed together with her husband Alvar Aalto.
Designs for Iittala: Bölgeblick series (1932); Aalto tumbler (in collaboration with Alvar Aalto - 1933); Aalto Flower (in collaboration with Aino Aalto - 1939).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Bölgeblick, glasses, pitcher, plate - renamed Aino Aalto.
Awards: Exhibition architecture for Artek: Grand Prix - Milan Triennale (1936); Bölgeblick (1932): gold - Milan Triennale (1954).
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976),a master of modern architecture, he designed, among other things, concert halls, libraries, hospitals and museums throughout the world. His unique style and exceptional talent can be seen in the diverse objects he has created, from furniture to a range of vases that culminated in his greatest design achievement the "Savoy" vase. This renowned work of art, as with many of his designs, has taken on a life of its own and was first seen at the 1937 Paris World Exposition. He and his wife Aino Aalto often collaborated in their design work.
Designs for Iittala: Aalto tumbler (in collaboration with Aino Aalto - 1933); Aalto / Savoy bowl (1936); Savoy / Aalto vase (1936); Aalto / Savoy double (1936); Aalto Flower (in collaboration with Aino Aalto - 1939).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Aalto collection, bowl, votive, vase, flower set.
Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985),designed banknotes, graphic art, sculptures, furniture, jewellery and glass products. His versatility in design has produced more than 400 glassware’s and art glass pieces. Wirkkala had exceptional skills in glass making and his close collaboration with workers resulted in new techniques and lasting masterful design objects.
Designs for Iittala: Finestra (1946); Pitsi (1947); Kantarelli (1951); Viinirypäle / Päärynä (1947); Kalvolan kanto (1948); Jääpala (1951); Jäävuori (1951); Tokio (1954); Tapio (1954); Marsalkansauva (1954); Rondo (1957); Romantica (1960); Paadrin (1960); Jäänsärkiä (1968).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Kantarelli (Chantarelle); Gaissa; Ultima Thule; Tapio.
Awards: Kantarelli, Viinirypäle / Päärynä, Varsanjalka, Kalvolan kanto, Tunturi, Jäkälä, Jääpala (1951); Jäävuori - Milan Triennale (1951); Tokio, Tapio, Marsalkansauva - Milan Triennale (1954); Tiima, Rondo - Milan Triennale (1957); Romantica (1960); Paadrin Jää - Milan Triennale (1960); Jäänsärkiä, Ultima Thule: bowl - Milan Triennale (1968); Lunning Prize (1951); Order of the Lion of Finland (1955); Prince Eugen Medal (1980).
Kaj Franck (1911-1989),the conscience of Finnish design would remove everything excessive so his designs would be left with only the essentials. Some of his most famous objects are the Teema tableware and the glass series Kartio.
Designs for Iittala: "Kaivonkatsoja" (1946); Lakaisija (1946); Onkia (1946); Teema (Kilta) (1952); Kartio (1956); Tupa (1948).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Teema; Kartio; Purnukka; Ateenan aamu.
Awards: Milan Triennale (1951); Milan Triennale (1954); Milan Triennale (1957); Lunning Prize (1955); Order of the Lion of Finland (1957); Prince Eugen Medal (1964).
Valto Kokko (1933),designed the i-VALO industrial lights series for Iittala and as a visual department manager in he was also involved in the advertising and marketing of his designs in 1963. Kokko created his first extensive glassware set Avec in 1973. His best known set Otso (Bonfire) is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He also created two films "i-living" and "Vision in Glass".
Designs for Iittala: Avec (1974); Otso (1978); Saana (1980); Sangria (1985); Pihla (1987); Marilyn (1988)
Awards: "i-living" (1979): Finnish industrial film of the year; "Vision in Glass" (1980): Finnish industrial film of the year.
Alfredo Häberli (1964),is an international designer based in Zurich. Alfredo Häberli unites within his designs tradition with innovation, joy and energy.
Designs for Iittala: Essence (2001); Kid's Stuff (2001); Senta (2003); Tris (2003); Origo (1999).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Essence; Senta; Origo.
Heikki Orvola (1943),is a constant driving force within Finnish design. Orvola works with glass, ceramics, cast iron and textiles. In 1998 Orvola won the prestigious Kaj Franck prize.
Designs for Iittala: "Aurora" (1972); Kivi (1987); Palazzo Pro Arte (1988); Verna goblet (1998); Verna vase (2004); Korento (2011).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Kivi; Korento; Aurora.
Awards: Kaj Franck Design Prize (1998); Order of the Lion of Finland (1984)
Timo Sarpaneva (1926 - 2006),a master of materials such as glass, porcelain, cast iron and textile as well as graphic art. Saraneva's I-line became the Iittala trademark in 1956. Sarpaneva is one of the great personalities that is responsible for the reputation of Finnish design throught the world. His works can be found in international art and design museums and Orkidea has been described as the most beautiful object on earth.
Designs for Iittala: Lansetti II (1952); Orkidea (1954); tumbler i (1956); Tsaikka (1957); stackable bottle (1959); sarpaneva (1960); Festivo (1966); Claritas (1984).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Tsaikka; Orkidea; Claritas; Festivo; sarpaneva; Steel plate.
Awards: I-line (1954); Lunning Prize (1956); Order of the Lion of Finland (1958); Honarary Doctorate: Aalto University (1993)
Oiva Toikka (1931),is one of the greatest names in Finnish glass and best known for his "Birds" collection. His works resound in imaginative, rich, bold and streamlined aesthetic Nordic design. His Birds collection has so far produced 400 glass art objects and Kastelhelmi selection and range enjoys great success.
Designs for Iittala: Kastelhelmi (1964)Flora (1966); Birds (1971); Annual Cube (1977); Niili (1989); Delta (1989); Vaskooli (1988); Full Moon (1989).
Designs still in production at Iittala: Birds; Annual Cube; Kastelhelmi.
Awards: Lunning Prize (1970); Order of the Lion of Finland (1980); World Glass Now 85 (YEAR); Kaj Franck Design Prize (1992); Prince Eugen Medal (2001).