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#87 - Art_ndDesign XX - Aino & Elissa Aalto

Sent the January 11th
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Article written by
Rosa Cortázar Meléndez

Still on vacations, bitch

I'll be back from holiday this week and I'll update you on everything! I'm in the Seville highlands (Spain) walking and hiking, so I'm not much on the internet.

I leave you an article by Rosa Cortazar about Alvar Aalto's wives and how he created, consciously or not, a shadow over the work of these women.

Best regards! 💕

Writing of the week

Not only was Alvar Aalto a great architect and designer - as I told you in the previous article - but his two wives were also great architects and designers, but they have not been fairly valued.

Aino Marsio and Alvar Aalto signed together all the projects they made during their marriage -designs that are still sold by the company Artek-, until Aino passed away in 1949; she had a more practical mentality and Alvar focused more on nature. He also had a keen interest in issues related to aesthetics, utility and functionality, together with the use of natural resources to improve everyday life even in its most intimate dimension.

Aino Marsio drawing in a studio. Source: Alvar Aalto Museum © Alvar Aalto Family © Alvar Aalto Family

Thanks to this mentality, she designed the famous built-in kitchen, or minimal kitchen, based on Margarete Schütte-Lihoztky - about whom I already told you in the article on the Bauhaus and women - and with this kitchen she achieved a saving of time and space, as well as easy cleaning.

Elissa Mäkiniemi worked with Alvar from the year of Aino's death and, after Alvar's death, completed Alvar's unfinished projects and directed the studio Alvar Aalto & Co and the furniture company Artek; but, despite the great participation he had in both design and management, most of the projects were attributed exclusively to him, and his work after Alvar's death was not valued.

In case you want to go deeper into the topic, the documentary Aalto, released this year by the Finnish director Virpi Suutari, offers more information about these two great unknown architects, I still have it pending...