Eero Aarnio

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The Finnish interior designer Eero Aarnio, who was awarded the American Industrial Design Award in 1968, is best known for his plastic and fibreglass chairs.

The extraordinarily elegant and ingenious Ball Chair (1963; Orbit Lounge Chair) was birthed from Aarnio’s designs for a new chair in his first home. It is instantly recognizable with a simple geometric design, perfect sphere with a cutout and swivel base and is often referred to as a ‘room within a room’ for its enclosed properties. Personal space is demarcated in the chair. In fact, the very first prototype that Aarnio himself built had a red telephone installed inside the unconventional, upholstered chair, further underscoring its sci-fi look. The ball chair was so innovative it was an immediate success; in fact, its completely original form has never been replicated since.

Aarnio’s Ball Relaxer Chair (Rondo Lounge Chair) possesses some similar elements in a half dome and is extremely conducive for relaxing.

His Cognac Chair (1966; Arnelli Lounge Chair) is reminiscent of the sophisticated silhouette of a balloon cognac glass.

The chairs shown above are replicas.

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