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Ball Chair
Iconic Designs

Ball Chair

About the Design

When the unapologetically sculptural Ball chair (or Globe chair) debuted at the 1966 International Furniture Fair in Cologne, buyers from 30 countries placed orders for their homes. Celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr. and Grace Kelly were among the early purchasers, as were royal figures like the shah of Iran. A German news broadcast featured the futuristic Ball chair — an inviting molded-fiberglass orb, hollowed out to house a foam-filled fabric seat, affixed to a disk-shaped aluminum base — while a New York Times reporter’s witty dispatch from the fair suggested that the seating on display was “designed more for laughs than for comfort.”


Laughable or not, the distinctive chair brought its creator, Finnish interior designer and furniture maker Eero Aarnio (b. 1932), instant commercial success, even as it rattled the modern design world. A precursor to his aesthetically similar Bubble chair, it resulted in Aarnio being forever associated with 1960s Pop art and space fever. And indeed, the brightly colored piece’s sleek pod-like shape seems tailored for sci-fi epics. Nevertheless, Aarnio has stated, “I had no intention to create either ‘pop’ or ‘space-age’ design — as many people label my work. . . . My intention was purely functional, to create the most practical form for this new material.”


After drafting a modest sketch of the Ball chair in 1963, Aarnio was uncertain about sharing the idea with furniture companies. By then, he had his own firm in Helsinki and numerous prizes from design competitions. But he was pivoting from the natural materials traditionally associated with Scandinavian furniture, working instead like Verner Panton, with synthetics and exploring playful but utilitarian forms.


Aarnio feared that big furniture firms wouldn’t embrace the otherworldly Ball chair concept, so he spent several weekends in an old elementary school’s woodshop, hand-building the first prototype from plywood and water-soaked newspaper. A subsequent version, made from fiberglass and upholstered with gray fabric that Aarnio painted red, was far sturdier, and Asko, where he was freelancing at the time, began manufacturing the design. Today, Eero Aarnio Originals makes the Ball chair, and it’s featured in movies, magazines and museums all over the planet, even as it appears to have arrived from another solar system.


Eero Aarnio Ball Chair

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Iconic Eero Aarnio Black 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 Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Iconic Eero Aarnio Black and White Swivel Ball Lounge Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
An iconic and expressive swiveling ball lounge chair. 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 b...
Category

2010s Finnish Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Iconic Eero Aarnio Red Swivel Ball Lounge Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Finnish Modern

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Iconic Eero Aarnio Green Swivel Ball Lounge Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Finnish Modern

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Iconic Eero Aarnio Black Leather Swivel Ball Lounge Chair
By Eero Aarnio
Located in New York, NY
Category

2010s Finnish Modern

Materials

Fiberglass, Leather

Eero Aarnio Ball chair in Kvadrat Hallingdal Orange 547
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Vancouver, BC
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

Vintage 1960s Finnish Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Eero Aarnio Ball chair in Kvadrat Hallingdal Red 65
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Vancouver, BC
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

Vintage 1960s Finnish Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Eero Aarnio Ball chair in Kvadrat Hallingdal Blue 750
By Eero Aarnio
Located in Vancouver, BC
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

Vintage 1960s Finnish Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fiberglass

Original Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio Asko
By Eero Aarnio, Asko
Located in Greven, DE
Original ball chair by Eero Aarnio Asko Red fabric, 1960s.    
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Eero Aarnio "Ball Chair" with Leather Upholstery and Speakers
By Eero Aarnio, Adelta
Located in Karlstad, SE
Rare model of Eero Aarnio's "Ball Chair" attributed to Adelta. This chair is upholstered in black original leather. The chair features original integrated speakers, that you easily ...
Category

20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs

Materials

Metal

Original Ball Chair from Adelta, by Eero Aarino, Black and Blue, Finland, 1980s
By Eero Aarnio, Adelta
Located in Regensburg, DE
Original Space Age Ball chair by Adelta, eero aarino for Asko, black and blue, , Finland, 1980s Design: 1963, Eero Aarino (born 1932 Helsinki) for Asko. Manufacturer: Adelta (label...
Category

Vintage 1980s Finnish Space Age Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

Space Age Ball Chair by Adelta, Eero Aarino, Green and White, Finland
By Eero Aarnio, Adelta
Located in Regensburg, DE
Original ball chair by Adelta, Eero Aarino for Asko, orange and white, Space Age period, made in Finland, 1980s-1990s Design: 1963, Eero Aarino (born 1932 Helsinki) for Asko. M...
Category

Antique 1890s Finnish Space Age Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

Eero Aarnio, Ball Chair by Asko, Signed 1, Edition in Bright Orange 1963 Finland
By Asko, Eero Aarnio
Located in Munster, NRW
The ball chair was designed by Eero Aarnio in 1963 and presented at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne in 1966. It became Aarnio’s international breakthrough. Eero Aarn...
Category

Vintage 1960s Danish Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Fiberglass

Rare Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio for Adelta
By Eero Aarnio, Adelta
Located in L'Escala, ES
Beautiful and rare ball chair by Eero Aarnio and manufactured in Finland in 1980s . Attributed to Adelta. In very good vintage condition.
Category

Vintage 1980s Finnish Armchairs

Materials

Fiberglass