Ball chair, 1963
Ball chair, Eero Aarnio, seduta, sedia, chair, 1963
Ball Chair is a seat designed by Eero Aarnio in 1963, presented at the Cologne International Furniture Fair in 1966.
For its construction, Eero Aarnio used fiberglass (fiberglass), one of his favorite materials, ductile and resistant. The interior is padded and covered in fabric.
Ball Chair has been defined as a “room within a room”. In fact, inside it is like being in a separate environment where you can take refuge to have your own calm and relax.
At the beginning of his career as a freelancer, in the early 1960s, Eero Aarnio, then an unknown designer, dreamed of creating an object that people would remember. Always fascinated by sailing boats, he experiments with the use of a new material, fibreglass. Arnio wondered if it was possible to use this material outside the nautical sector also to build furniture.
Having drawn the original sketch of the Ball Chair on January 11, 1963, Eero Aarnio immediately understood the importance of creating a prototype of the chair. After several attempts and precautions he manages to obtain the desired result which combines lightness with sturdiness.
The first example of the Ball Chair was made at home and is still in the Aarnio family's home in Veikkola, not far from Helsinki, Finland.
Aarnio then looked for a company willing to mass-produce the Ball Chair and distribute it.
In 1964 Aarnio contacted Coca-Cola after having painted the entire body red to which he glued the drink's logo on the back. He then portrays a person dressed in black, on the Ball Chair, drinking a Coca-Cola through a straw.
Initially the company showed great enthusiasm but, after a few months of waiting, Aarnio received a rejection letter from the headquarters.
The Ball Chair obtained the deserved recognition at the 1966 Cologne Furniture Fair, in which Aarnio participated with his old employer, the Asko company.
During the fair the Ball chair was sold in over 30 countries, in just one week. Finnish journalist Helsingin Sanomat describes the Ball chair this way: “The most exciting chair in the world is on display at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne. This egg-shaped seat hides the person sitting on it almost completely from view and is also soundproof.”
"It all started from here" is Aarnio's comment.
Within a few months the Ball Chair became a design icon and found space in the collections of design museums around the world, the protagonist of several films, music videos and magazine covers. Today it is produced by Eero Aarnio Originals, a brand founded in 2016 with the aim of bringing the designer's authentic classics back to Finland.
Ball Chair contributed to making Finnish design known internationally and became an icon of Finnish and international design, a cult object of the 1960s.
Ball Chair is featured in the permanent collections of numerous design museums around the world and has been used in films, music videos and magazine covers over the years.
Ball chair is produced by Eero Aarnio Originals, a brand founded in 2016 with the aim of bringing the designer's authentic classics back to Finland.
In 2021 Ball Chair has been updated with a wool fabric cover specially developed for this seat.
Dimensions: L 110 x D 97 x H 120 cm. Weight: 42kg
Materials: fiberglass shell, aluminum foot, polyurethane foam cushions, fabric covering.
Some museums where works by Eero Aarnio are present:
Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York, United States
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain
Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
Center Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMa), San Francisco, United States
Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Canada