Title:Prickstone (Tiiliskivi)Artist:Armi Rattia
Marimekko Date:1952Creation Place:Europe, Finland, HelsinkiCredit Line:Gift of the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, Smithsonian Institutio...Accession Number:85.63.1
In 1951 Armi Rattia founded Marimekko, which has since grown into a household name as one of the leading international design firms. Rattia founded this company in hopes of introducing Finnish design to the world through fresh and modern textiles that stressed the concepts of simplicity and functionality. In the late 1950s Marimekko began providing American consumers with lively designs first at Design Research in Boston, followed by Crate and Barrel in the early 1960s where they are still sold today. The first designs, including Tiiliskivi, consisted mostly of striking abstract patterns. These textiles were multi-purpose, suitable for interiors, furnishings, and clothing. Tiiliskivi, a Finnish word for brick, shows how Marimekko's designers drew inspiration even from simple forms. This universal building material is popular in Finnish architecture, and especially notable in the work of renowned architect Alvar Aalto. Aalto transformed this humble construction material into buildings of simple texture and beauty. Rattia's similar inspiration was to create boldly designed, mass-produced textiles. Tiiliskivi also shows the relative simplicity of Marimekko's early designs, as the process of screen-printing and production was still being refined.