KAJ FRANCK (born 1911 in Viipuri, Finland, died 1989 in Greece) graduated in 1932 in interior design from the Institute of Industrial Art. Until the Second World War, he worked in interior and textile design for various companies, and after the war, he began work at the Arabia factory as a designer of utilitarian wares. The shortage of raw materials and the severe economic situation that prevailed in Finland at the time and coincided with major social upheaval created new initiatives and requirements for design.
Franck's BA/Kilta tableware, which went on sale in 1953, has been regarded as one of the first expressions of this new design ideology. At Arabia, Franck came to be surrounded by gifted young designers, and gradually the factory's Product Design Department benefited from Arabia's solid expertise and professionalism. The product design team, which comprised Franck, wheel-turner Göran Bäck, model draughtsman Kaarina Aho, and ceramist Ulla Procopé, collaborated in the creation of a new line of utilitarian wares that were purely practical and functional in design.
The department followed Franck's idea that the designer should remain anonymous, because the output of a ceramics factory always involved mass-produced items designed through teamwork. The factory's renowned manufacturing tradition lived on in the basic-level functionalist tableware produced by Franck and his design team that imitated folk ceramics and traditional tableware in their practicality.
Source: ARABIA Ceramics│Art│Industry by Marianne Aav, Elise Kovanen, Marjut Kumela, Helena Leppänen, Susanna Vakkari, Susann Vihma, Tapio Yli-Viikari - published by Designmuseo, 2009.