Ilmari Tapiovaara at the Design Museum in Helsinki
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of designer Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914 – 1999), the Design Museum in Helsinki is staging a major exhibition of his work featuring both furniture and sketches from his archive collections.
Many of the pieces and sketches displayed have not been exhibited before. The Museum is also publishing a book “Ilmari Tapiovaara – Life and Design” in connection with the exhibition.
Ilmari Tapiovaara was originally trained as an interior architect. He was also the artistic director of a furniture factory, a teacher, an expert serving in development cooperation and the head of his own design office, among other things.
He never gained the same reputation as his fellow Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, but he shared similar principles – that design should be for everyone and not just the rich. Tapiovaara was a charismatic speaker and skilled writer with a public presence as a spokesman for modern professional design.
The current exhibition presents a broad perspective of Ilmari work ranging from sketches to furniture, interior designs and personal items. It also traces Ilmari Tapiovaara trajectory from and from an internationally oriented student to a prolific and responsible designer of the post-war years of reconstruction focusing on the notion of the social responsibility of the designer.