Grand Old Man of Finnish design

Yrjö Kukkapuro

Grand Old Man of Finnish design

Yrjö Kukkapuro is one of our most internationally renowned and award-winning furniture designers and one of the most significant modernists in Finnish furniture design. The design work of Kukkapuro is based on both aesthetic and functional innovation, user experience and ergonomics.

During his extraordinarily long career of over 60 years, Yrjö Kukkapuro has created modernistic furniture for the era, which time has proven to be modern classics. Objects designed by Kukkapuro are on display in permanent exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Kukkapuro’s career in design spans the years from mid-50’s to the present. These decades have provided several collections whose design language is always coherent and functional. Collections range from the Moderno family (1956) to the picturesque CNC-machined art series. Office chairs of the Plaano, Fysio, Sirkus and Funktus series are ergonomic products that have been manufactured in long series since the 80’s and 90’s, and they can be found in banking floors, airfields and auditoriums around the world. The plastic chair period with pop art colours lasted about 10 years, from the 60’s to 1973. The oil crisis was a wake-up call into ecological thinking for Kukkapuro, launching a 30-year period of composite plywood design.

The cornerstone of Kukkapuro’s production is structural form consisting of separate components and taking inspiration from architectural design. Serial component thinking has dominated his production starting from the Ateljee collection in early 60’s to this day.

Picture credit: Studio Kukkapuro