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Eero Aarnio

Finnish, b. 1932

“I always look ahead, never back,” Finnish design legend Eero Aarnio has been quoted as saying. A leading innovator of modern furniture design, Aarnio has long embraced a bold, playful, confident and colorful style several steps ahead of his time.

For his 1954 entrance test for the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki, Aarnio created a whimsical painting of a man reading a newspaper in a red, curved chair whose silhouette foreshadowed Aarnio’s Ball chair of 1963. That spherical seat skyrocketed him to design fame, and decades later, it is still recognized as one of the world’s most futuristic designs.

Born in 1932 to a house painter and a seamstress, Aarnio has always had a cheerful disposition and an independent spirit. He went his own way early on: After just two years at Asko, the big Scandinavian furniture company that originally produced his Ball chair, Aarnio established his own studio in 1962.

Over the next decade, the young visionary made an indelible mark on the world. Open-minded and entrepreneurial, Aarnio embraced the aesthetics, materials and technologies of the Swinging Sixties, working with a new generation of plastics and molding them into fluid, organically shaped, brightly hued forms.

Introduced at the 1966 Cologne Furniture Fair, the pod-like fiberglass Ball chair soon adorned the homes of movie stars and royalty, graced magazine covers around the world and was featured in films and ads. The groundbreaking seat originally came in orange, white, black, yellow and red and could be ordered with a telephone installed in it. Yet this designer of the future, as he was known in the 1960s, has always insisted that he didn’t deliberately seek to be associated with the decade’s sci-fi aesthetic.

“I had no intention to create either pop or Space Age design — as many people label my work,” Aarnio declares in one of the essays included in Eero Aarnio — Designer of Colour and Joy, a book jointly created by the Design Museum and publisher WSOY to accompany 2016’s “Eero Aarnio” exhibition.

The show featured a number of Aarnio’s objects, including his iconic Ball, Pastil (1967), Bubble (1968), Tomato (1971) and Pony (1973) chairs. These were joined by lesser-known seating and other objects like the rattan Juttujakkara, or mushroom, stool (1960); the sculptural Double Bubble lamp (2000), with which Aarnio first explored the possibilities of rotation-cast plastic; and the three-legged Rocket (1995) and Baby Rocket (2006) stools, both parts of a collection produced by Artek after Tom Dixon, the company’s creative director from 2004 to 2009, discovered the original piece in Aarnio’s kitchen.

“Aarnio expanded the whole idea of what constitutes furniture,” explained Suvi Saloniemi, the Design Museum’s chief curator. “His significance as a designer is crystallized in the liberation of form that he has introduced by discovering the properties of plastic as the material of a designer. His furniture is sculpture-like and eye-catching, but the pieces are always utilitarian at the same time.”

Find an extraordinary range of vintage Eero Aarnio chairs, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$3,137
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Eero Aarnio
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Pastille Chair
Pastille Chair
Ball Chair
Ball Chair
Pony Chair
Pony Chair
Bubble Chair
Bubble Chair
Eero Aarnio Small Walnut Parabel Table
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
The Parabel was designed in 1993 by Eero Aarnio, and first shown at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne, Germany in January 2002. The table is made of fibreglass and comes in...
Category

2010s Finnish Modern Eero Aarnio

Materials

Maple

Eero Aarnio White Copacabana Bench
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
Designed by Eero Aarnio, 1991 The Copacabana was designed to go with the Pastil chair; the curved line of the table suits the round shape of the chair. Copacabana can be used as bot...
Category

2010s Finnish Modern Eero Aarnio

Materials

Fiberglass

  • Eero Aarnio White Copacabana Bench
  • Eero Aarnio White Copacabana Bench
  • Eero Aarnio White Copacabana Bench
  • Eero Aarnio White Copacabana Bench
H 16.93 in. W 35.44 in. D 16.54 in.
Iconic Eero Aarnio Natural Leather Bubble Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
The bubble chair was designed by Eero Aarnio in 1968. According to Eero’s notes, the bubble hangs from the ceiling because ‘there is no nice way to make a clear pedestal.’ It shares ...
Category

2010s Finnish Modern Eero Aarnio

Materials

Stainless Steel

  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Natural Leather Bubble Chair
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Natural Leather Bubble Chair
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Natural Leather Bubble Chair
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Natural Leather Bubble Chair
H 41.34 in. W 40.56 in. D 35.44 in.
Iconic Eero Aarnio Black Leather Swivel Ball Lounge Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
The ball chair was designed in 1963 and debuted at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1966. The chair is one of the most famous and beloved classics of Finnish design and it was the inter...
Category

2010s Finnish Modern Eero Aarnio

Materials

Leather, Fiberglass

Iconic Eero Aarnio Ball Chair by Adelta
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Dronten, NL
Original ball chair designed by Eero Aarnio and manufactured by Adelta, Finland. The Ball chair was designed in 1963 and debuted at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1966. The chair is ...
Category

Late 20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Eero Aarnio

Materials

Aluminum

  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Ball Chair by Adelta
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Ball Chair by Adelta
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Ball Chair by Adelta
  • Iconic Eero Aarnio Ball Chair by Adelta
H 47.25 in. W 43.31 in. D 38.19 in.
Eero Aarnio for UPO Armchair, Finland 1970
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Red plastic frame with brown upholstered seat. Small crack on underside of chair. Does not affect stability.
Category

1970s Finnish Space Age Vintage Eero Aarnio

Materials

Upholstery, Plastic

Sculptural Eero Aarnio Wicker Rattan Chairs, 1960
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Chicago, IL
Sculptural Eero Aarnio wicker/rattan chair, 1960. Original.
Category

1960s Vintage Eero Aarnio

Materials

Wicker, Rattan

Mid-Century Modern Polished Aluminium and Black Leather Executive Armchairs
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Weesp, NL
Executive black leather and polished aluminium pair of armchairs designed by the renowned Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. This stylish and elegant pair was produced by Mobel Italia, It...
Category

1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Eero Aarnio

Materials

Aluminum

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More Eero Aarnio Designs
Parabel Table
Parabel Table
Average Price
$4,437
Number Available
4
Parabel Table
By Eero Aarnio
Materials
Fiberglass, Maple, Plastic, Wood
Styles
Modern
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Tomato Chair
Tomato Chair
Average Price
$3,899
Number Available
3
Tomato Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Materials
Fiberglass, Plastic
Styles
Modern, Space Age
In looking at Finnish designer Eero Aarnio’s (b. 1932) big red fiberglass Tomato chair, you can see how it got its name, and it’s not just due to its buoyantly crimson color. As Aarnio explained: “It is named to reflect the two round shapes when you look from the front: like the two circles in the word tOmatO.” The 1971 chair was one of several in his explorations of circular forms, or designs “without edges” as he put it. It also exemplifies his radical departure from Scandinavian modernism,...
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Cognac Chair
Cognac Chair
Average Price
$2,200
Number Available
1
Cognac Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Materials
Fabric, Fiberglass, Plastic, Upholstery
Styles
Space Age
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Kantarelli Table
Kantarelli Table
Average Price
$2,024
Number Available
1
Kantarelli Table
By Eero Aarnio
Materials
Plastic
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Eero Aarnio furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture from Eero Aarnio are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of Plastic and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our collection of Eero Aarnio furniture to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 33 vintage editions of these items, while there are also 54 modern editions to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Eero Aarnio were created in Europe during the 21st century and contemporary style in Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Bertel Gardberg, Asko and Yrjö Kukkapuro. Prices for Eero Aarnio furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $NaN and tops out at $NaN, while pieces like these can sell for $NaN on average.

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