Happy 75 Years (and Counting), Artek!

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Are you ready to party it up for Artek? And by “party” I mean joining a celebration of design without ever leaving your desk. In honor of its 75th anniversary, Artek will not only host “Alchemy of the Third Millennium,” an international symposium that aims to bring to light the correlation between science, art, architecture, and design—but will also broadcast a live online stream of the event to the world.

“Alchemy of the Third Millennium,” which will be held at the Media Centre LUNE in Helisinki, will feature a collection of keynote speakers, including: Shigeru Ban, architect; David Kleinberg-Levin, philosopher; Amanda Levete, architect; David Neuman, director of Magasin 3, Stockholm Konsthall; Professor Juhani Pallasmaa, architect; Tobias Rehberger, artist; Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, London; and Peter Zumthor, architect.

The symposium begins today (October 14) and ends October 15. The nonprofit event will be viewable via a live stream, starting October 14 at 5 p.m. EST at www.artek.fi/news/128

With such advances in technology, I am excited to see Artek making a global statement via online mediums. (Many manufacturers such as Mannington, KI, and Shaw are all experimenting with new ways to engage clients through the Web and social media.) By taking its event online, Artek is establishing itself as an evolving brand—one that recognizes that the design community is comparatively small and dispersed and one that is willing to “go the distance” to engage its design fans, as well as a brand that isn’t afraid to grasp onto new mindsets and consumer trends to enhance its offerings to clients.

Yet while I’m excited to see Artek embrace the digital sphere, the design industry stil has a long way to go until it can be considered “up to par.” More manufacturer’s should and need to work to host initiatives that, through technological means, can be “attended,” shared, and even shaped via content creation by all interested parties. It’s not just a matter of branding and “keeping up with the times”; it’s the new means to expanding design education and ecology today to build a united, global design community.

–Stacy Straczynski

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