The Shape that Moves by Iittala


I realised earlier that I’ve had a little hiatus from any films or videos on the blog, which is a shame really as one of my favourite things about the internet is short films made by fellow creatives, you can always find inspiration that you’d of never seen otherwise. Unfortunately, pictures don’t quite convey the same message as what a video can. Plus, whe it comes down to craft or design you really want to see the stuff being made or have some visuals to go along with it. Usually with the things I like it’s the minute details that make all the difference, both in life and the design process.

One company that really does pay unique attention to the details is glass factory Iittala in Finland. It’s not the first time that I’ve discussed the company, see here and here for two in-depth articles, possibly due to the fact that they make one of Alvar Aalto’s most famous designs, the Aalto vase. The iconic and delicate shape was inspired by the dress of a Sami woman, he titled it Eskimåkvinnans skinnbyxa (the Eskimo woman’s leather breech). In 1936 Aalto drew the original sketch as an entry to the Iittala contest, and the flowing form won the competition and became very popular within the design sector, later translating to a worldwide audience of consumers.

This particular video, produced by Iittala, tells us the whole story behind the design and how it came about. It’s also nicely narrated with a few words of wisdom here and there to help the piece along, I like the fact that it incorporates moving imagery of the glassblowers in action and shows the craftsmanship element. If you’re thinking of purchasing a piece from the Aalto collection I’d highly recommend it, I have one myself and it sits on my desk prominently. It’s one of those objects that you cherish as a designer, since you know both its history and its functionality, it serves a purpose in day to day life even after 70 years. Now that’s inspiring! Enjoy.


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