Designer: Eero Aarnio
Eero Aarnio was born in 1932 in Finland. In 1954 he entered the Helsinki School of Art and Design and graduated in 1957. A few years later, in 1932, the young Finnish designer founded his own design agency specialising in interior and industrial design.Aarnio ‘s early work was in the Finnish tradition of using natural materials. However, the young designer has a boundless curiosity. He seeks to innovate, renew and re-evaluate design. He looked for other materials and discovered fibreglass. He immediately became fascinated with this material, which offers interesting and varied possibilities. He designed numerous chairs and tables:
- The Bulle chair (1968):
- The Ball Chair (1966), the story of which you can read here:
- The Kantarelli table (1965):
- The Tomato chair (1972):
- The Space Age dining set for UPO (1970s) :
In 1973, Aarnio designed one of his most original pieces: the Pony seat. Although the seat looks like a toy, its dimensions correspond perfectly to those required by an adult. This creation came as such a surprise that the designer justified his choice by explaining that ” a chair is a chair… but a seat doesn’t have to be a chair. It can be anything as long as it is ergonomically correct. This promise was kept, as the polyurethane foam covered with fabric met the ergonomic need.
The innovative character of his creations is undeniable: the use of plastic, space age inspired shapes and bright colours, it is easy to understand why they are so successful! Although his work is part of the Pop Design movement, it is important to note thatEero Aarnio is firmly opposed to the idea of disposability! Unlike his contemporaries in this movement, the Finnish designer has designed each of his pieces with the intention that they will last over time. Aarnio was inspired by his era (60s and 70s) in terms of style but remained true to the Scandinavian tradition of durability.
Eero Aarnio ‘s success was rapid but far from ephemeral. He remains a reference for new generations of designers. His cult objects are exhibited in the world’s greatest museums: the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam and of course the fabulous MoMA in New York! There is no doubt that Eero Aarnio has left his mark on 20th century design.