We haven't really talked very much about Alvar Aalto, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to show you this lounge chair - still with its original upholstery - designed by Aalto in 1932 and made by Artek. Aalto viewed furniture as an extension of his architecture, and this particular design evolved from his first large commission - the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland. To furnish the sanatorium, Aalto first looked to Italian modernism and tubular steel for its hygienic qualities. However, he decided the effect was too harsh for the intended environment and instead turned to wood for its warmer qualities. Aalto developed a new construction process for manufacturing solid frames by layering thin sheets of birch, and then pressing and bending them using steam. The process yielded the same light, elastic qualities of Nordic skis, which lead him to develop a line of chairs throughout the 1930s that rested on wooden runners rather than four legs.