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Kari Virtanen

The Finnish carpenter Kari Virtanen (born in 1948) founded his first workshop at the age of 19. His ambitious approach to the craft caught the attention of the most powerful figures in Finnish design. His first collaboration partners were Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck. He has been a sought-after partner for designers in need of a skilled cabinetmaker. Virtanen’s works are widely used in public spaces and reception facilities. He creates the pure and restrained design, evolved from the intended use of the object, its structure and the characteristics of wood. The goal is to create an implicit form. Virtanen’s chairs Kiasma have been chosen for the Museum of Contemporary Art, since “it was not designed”. Kari Virtanen has received several awards, for e.g. the Design State Award in Finland in 2005 or the Bruno Mathsson award for Nordic design.

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