Iittala creates objects that are thought through in form, function and quality. Objects with a clear thought, created to achieve long lasting everyday use and inspiration. Whether in metal, wood, porcelain or glass, Iittala design objects are tools for contemporary living
Iittala continues to be a major driving force of Scandinavian design with legendary designers Kaj Franck (1911-1989) and Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) as the cornerstones for the brand. Iittala objects are design essentials stripped to their core; the pure union of function, form and quality that demonstrates our core philosophy of lasting everyday design against throwawayism.
The roots of Iittala date back to 1881 when a glass factory was established in a small village by the name of Iittala in southern Finland. From the very beginning Iittala was a modern industrial plant. The first glassblowers came from Sweden, and later professionals were also hired from Belgium and Germany.
Iittala’s breakthrough occurred in the early years of modernism and functionalism in the 1920s and 30s. It was among the first companies to make the transition from creating decorative settings and dinner sets to progressive Scandinavian design. Iittala’s designers included the modernist trailblazers, Kaj Franck, Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino. Today the task of continuing and refining the tradition in their own individual styles has been handed down to international designers who create for Iittala.
The effort put into lasting quality design has paid off. The proof is that the Iittala collection includes not only recently launched items but also those that have been around for over 60 years. Over the years, Iittala designers have won numerous prizes. They have reached the summit of the design world through their uncompromising work ethic and cutting edge attitude. And this is done all the while keeping in mind the person who uses the objects.
Design is not about surfaces or style. Design is a human issue. Taking pleasure in everyday life is one of the simple luxuries of being human, so essential design begins with a deep understanding of human needs. Iittala creates adaptable personal belongings to be loved and used again and again, day in and day out, for generations.
Over 50 years ago Kaj Franck defined successful design with his question: "Is not the ultimate meaning of beauty to be essential, functional, justified, and correct?" Design, he felt, is far more than a question of beauty. It is about life. And life, said Franck, consists mostly of everyday events. So ensuring that everyday objects are universally relevant is one of the most important design challenges there is. At Iittala we all agree: no person should ever be stereotyped or alienated by technology or mass production. Well thought-out crafted objects must fulfil our varied individual needs, so that we are free to own only the essential, and not add to the mountains of consumer waste.
The system of values created by Aalto and Franck lives on today through our designers who strive to create these affordable and meaningful design solutions. Designers who measure their achievements by quality, rather than limelight. Designers driven by an unwavering vision of the future as a better place for every human being. Designers who strive to shape the world with lasting everyday design against throwawayism.
Iittala Group is a leading design company in homeware. Its success is largely due to its modern Scandinavian design.
In the international market, Iittala Group focuses on developing the Iittala brand. In the home markets of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, Iittala is the market leader. In these markets the company is, in addition to the Iittala brand, developing its other strong brands: Arabia, Hackman, BodaNova, Höganäs Keramik, Rörstrand, and Høyang-Polaris. Learn more about each of these brands through the Iittala Group site.