A leading Finnish product and interior designer whose prolific output did much to shape the visual appearance of everyday life in Finland in the second half of the 20th century, as well as to establish Finnish design in the international arena. Nurmesniemi trained at the Institute of Industrial Arts at Helsinki before entering into an architectural practice from 1951 to 1956. In 1953 he married Vuokko Nurmesniemi, a leading textile designer for Marimekko, and, following the establishment of his design studio in Helsinki in 1956, he and his wife exhibited together at the Artek Gallery in the following year. Antii showed brightly coloured enamelled coffeepots for Wärtsila and plastic lamps for Artek, attracting wider international attention at the 1960 Milan Triennale with his elegant yet functional Triennial Chair. His reputation was further enhanced by winning the prestigious Lunning Prize in 1959 and a Gran Premio at the Milan Triennale of 1964 for his laminated beech Sauna Stool, first designed for the Palace Hotel, Helsinki, in 1952. He continued to design furniture in the 1970s and 1980s, decades in which he was also involved with carriage design for the Helsinki Metro (1968–77), interiors for the Finnish cruise ship Finnjet (1976–8), the Slim phone for Fujitsu in Japan (1984), and furniture for Cassina in Italy (1985). His work was widely recognized through awards, including the medal of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (1981), an honorary Royal Designer for Industry (1986), and the Japan Design Foundation Prize (1991). He was also the president of the Finnish Designers' Association (1977–82) and served on the Board of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design from 1979 including a term as its president between 1989 and 1992.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.