Aarnio is famous for his innovative style, especially his plastic and fiberglass chairs. His furniture was often seen in sets for science-fiction films since they broke away from the current furniture design traditions. Aarnio studied at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki until his graduation in 1957. He worked a while for Tapiovaara followed by the Asko Company before he opened his own office in 1962. The popular period for plastics in Finnish furniture design lasted from mid 1960s and about a decade more. Plastic was one of Aarnio’s favorite materials and he was at the forefront of Finnish Design. He got his big breakthrough with the launch of the Ball Chair at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne 1966.
His most famous design is undoubtely the Ball Chair which was introduced in 1966. The ball chair is a hollow sphere above a stand with an entrace to allow a person to sit inside. The space is similar to a coocoon, allowing a private sphere in the room for the person in the chair. The pedestal base turns around its own axis so that the level of privacy can be chosen easily. Aarnio designed it as a “room within a room” and the Ball Chair is also known sometimes as the “globe chair” because of its shape.
Aarnio had a very distinct style to his furniture design. He believed in designers using as modern technology as possible in their work and he aimed to create ergonomic design that was modern and could be mass-produced to a low cost. Aarnio had several professions and acted as a “one-man design workshop” where he took the roll of interior designer, industrial designer, graphic artist as well as photographer. Whilst echoing pop culture and the spirit of his time, with his plastic designs, he also incorporated a communicative aspect on his work imposing a psychological effect on users and viewers of the furniture. His work is often described as playful, challenging the stiffness and evoking the imagination.
Aside from sound ergonomic design Eero Aarnio always has a focus on proper ergonomic design but apart from this he follows very few rules in his furniture creation
“A chair must be comfortable for sitting and after that everything is free.”