4 November 2014
Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase is the quintessence of Scandinavian design. Created in 1936, it was presented for the first time at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1937. It got its name from the Hotel Savoy in Helsinki, whose furnishings and fittings were designed by Aalto and his wife Aino Marsio. Its organic and irregular shape reminds some of a Norwegian fiord, but others of an ameba. In the designer’s intentions, it was supposed to be a container for Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The reference to nature reemerged in the manufacturing process, which originally required the use of splendid molds carved out of wood. Although the methods of production have been updated, iittala still makes it using the technique of hand blowing. It is available in many different sizes and colors and its popularity shows no signs of fading.