AALTO  -  Friday October 15th, 2010
Naoto Fukusawa, when asked recently what he thought of Alvar Aalto’s work, replied: “it is quite… normal.” His audience was mostly Finnish, a people almost as famous for their contemplative silences as the Japanese. Needless to say no one asked the great designer to elaborate.

Later, as we walked along the lakefront below Aalto’s experimental house I asked him what he had meant, but he only avoided the subject completely. He gestured towards the house, then into the forest. The dappled light of late afternoon shivered between the birches, making their camouflaged trunks waver and dance. He simply said, ‘it’s perfect. Just perfect… everything is in total harmony. This should be normal.’

You can’t beat the Japanese.

The Aalto tours were part of a press trip I took in September to report on a Finnish design conference for the Architectural Review. Official article here, flickr folder here.

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