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Don't Forget To Play

July 2008

Skandium + Artek with Marlborough Primary School during London Design Festival

The design retailer Skandium and the Finnish furniture company Artek, founded by the architect Alvar Aalto in 1935, have teamed up with Marlborough Primary School on Sloane Avenue in London around a project called Don't Forget To Play (an original quote by Alvar Aalto). The project allows young children to creatively learn and play around the subjects of design, Finland and furniture manufacturing. The end result will be exhibited during London Design Festival in the windows of the Skandium shop on Brompton Road.

Artek MD Mirkku Kullberg contacted Skandium last summer and asked if the two companies could work together around a project which involved a school or hospital in the area of the new Skandium flagship store. Artek has been supplying institutions ever since the company started; churches, schools, kindergartens and hospitals use Artek furniture. During the Stockholm furniture fair earlier this year, Artek staged an exhibition at the Swedish Architecture Museum which involved children painting the classic stool 60, designed by Alvar Aalto in 1933. For London, the project with Marlborough Primary School focuses on a class of eight year olds where the stool 60 is integrated into the curriculum. The children will find out where Finland is located, learn about Finland's perhaps most famous character the Moomin and it's life in the deep forest, learn how a birch tree from the forest can be turned into a piece of furniture, draw and design suggestions of own stools before assembling Aalto stools, and finally decorate them in any way they like; by paint, textiles, tiles or other additions. The end result will be exhibited in the window of Skandium on Brompton Road 15-21 September, and the children will visit the shop to see how their work has been displayed.

Skandium and Artek share many values when it comes to sustainability, longevity and cultural richness of good design manufactured under ethically acceptable circumstances, as well as recognising the historical significance of Alvar Aalto and Finnish design. Earlier this year, Skandium was invited to stage an exhibition at the Artek flagship store in Helsinki, showing a selection of Swedish and Danish design not usually found in Finland. The exhibition also travelled to the Artek shops in Turkku and Espo. In conjunction, the book Scandinavian Country, written by the Skandium founders Magnus Englund and Chrystina Schmidt, was published in Finnish.

Marlborough School is a well-established community primary school with a nursery class. The school has been in existence for over 100 years and is proud of our place in the local diverse community. Marlborough is an inner city multi cultural school and is committed to providing a broad and balanced range of educational opportunities for children in order to promote their full academic, personal and social development.

This project is part of Brompton Design District and London Design Festival.