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  • Writer's pictureJessica Williams

The Ball Chair

We have recently acquired a Ball Chair for the shop and I wanted to find out a bit about the history of this iconic piece of furniture. I thought I'd share it with you guys for anyone who's interested in furniture design or just thinks its an awesome piece of kit and wants to know a bit more about it!

It was designed in 1963 by Finnish furniture designer Eero Aarnio. He bought a new house in 1962 and felt that the place needed a big statement chair and so he designed the Ball Chair.

"Well the idea probably came from our need at home for a chair that would be large enough for both Pirkko and I to sit in together. And since I tend to simplify things, I removed all the corners.”

“My intention, once decided, was purely functional. To create the most practical form for this new material (fibreglass) I was working with. A sphere seemed the right shape for a strong and malleable material. I made the first prototype myself using an inside mold, which has been made using the same principle as a glider fuselage or wing. I covered the plywood body mold with wet paper and laminated the surface with fibreglass, rubbed down the outside, removed the mold from inside, had it upholstered and added the leg. In the end, I installed the red telephone on the inside wall of the chair."

Aarnios creation was launched to the market after two managers from Asko visited his home and immediately noticed it. The chair was introduced at the Cologne International Furniture Fair in 1966. It became an instant attraction and remains a design classic and popular piece to this day.

Long live the ball chair!

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