Professor and interior architect Yrjö Kukkapuro (born in 1933) is one of Finland’s best-known and most-awarded furniture designers, as well as a key modernist, who generally has a very functional approach to design.
During his distinguished career, which began in the mid-1950s, Kukkapuro has received several important titles and prizes, including the Pro Finlandia prize in 1983, the Kaj Franck Design Prize in 1995, membership of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in 2002 and the Finnish State Prize in 2017.
In addition to designing his experimental studio home, completed in 1968, Kukkapuro has been involved in the design and realization of dozens of public spaces. These collaborations with architects have resulted in a series of installations where light and lighting have created a worthy environment for Kukkapuro’s furniture. All the luminaires designed by Kukkapuro have a strong visual impact. As a designer, he is, above all, a functionalist whose work is based on the user experience in addition to ergonomics and aesthetics.
Kukkapuro is known for his broad palette, based on the basic colors of Constructivist art: blue, red, yellow, black and white.
For Kukkapuro, the starting point for design is the material, the choice of which determines the shape to be used. In his distinctive style, all the fixings used are visible – Kukkapuro is sometimes referred to in Finland as ruuvimies, in playful reference to his visible use of screws. The hallmarks of his work, which draws inspiration from architecture, are a structure consisting of separate components and seriality.
Over the decades, Ateljee, Karuselli and Remmi have become modern classics. Kukkapuro’s designs are on permanent display in many prestigious locations, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.