Aalto, a visionary of modern architecture and world renowned designer was fascinated by the properties of plywood, establishing an experimental workshop in 1929. In 1935 he founded a furniture design company, Artek and in the same year patented his cantilevered beech chair frame which supported a single piece of shaped plywood forming the seat and back. The translation of the tubular steel cantilever frame into wood resulted in this elegant armchair, No. 31 and his work was exhibited worldwide to great acclaim.
In 1957 Aalto was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects.