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Ilmari Tapiovaara

Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) was one of the most important Finnish interior architects and designers of his generation. He significantly shaped the international design of the 20th Century. Tapiovaara studied industrial and interior design at the Institute of Industrial Design in Helsinki and he was a great admirer of Alvar Aalto's work. He embraced the principle of social equality of functionalism and the architecture was a starting point of his design work.Tapiovaara trained and worked with renowned international architects and designers, for e.g. Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe. In the late 1950s he travelled to Paraguay, where he designed furniture on behalf of the UN development programme and later he worked in a similar projects in Mauritius or Yugoslavia. He also designed furniture for clients in Italy and Sweden. IIlmari Tapiovaara received a total of six gold medals at the Milan Triennials in 1951, 1954, 1957, 1960 and 1964. He was awarded the Good Design Award in Chicago in 1951, the Pro Finlandia medal in 1959, the Finnish State Design Prize in 1971 and the Furniture Prize of the SIO Interior Architects’ Association of Finland in 1990.

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