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Aino Aalto

Aino Maria Mandelin (1894 - 1949) was born in Helsinki, Finland and attended the Institute of Technology in Helsinki, where she became an architect in 1920. After qualifying as an architect, Aino began working for Oiva Kallio in Helsinki. In 1923, Aino moved to Jyväskylä, Finland to work in another architect’s office but ended up working with Alvar Aalto in 1924. The following year, Aino Mandelin and Alvar Aalto were married and traveled to northern Italy for their honeymoon. Their honeymoon allowed the couple to observe and study vernacular architecture which inspired Nordic Classicism--a style of architecture briefly popular in Nordic countries. The newly wed architects primarily built smaller scale structures and buildings, such as villas, and moved around different cities of Finland in their earlier years. In 1935, the Aaltos, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahlin founded Artek--a Finnish furniture company which Aino was the head designer. Artek still sells designs created by the Aaltos, such as Table 95. Aino Aalto is well known for her glassware designs at iittala, specifically Aino Aalto Pitcher and Aino Aalto Tumbler. Her glassware is still wildly popular and companies like IKEA have been inspired by her work.