50 years of Bubbles – Eero Aarnio’s classic chair turns the big 5-0

The Bubble Chair that hangs from the ceiling is Eero Aarnio’s masterpiece, and one of Finnish design’s most joyful and innovative classics. The Bubble came out a respectable 50 years ago.

Eero Aarnio Bubble Chair
The Bubble reminds of a large soap bubble and it’s also produced the same way: by blowing.

EERO AARNIO DESIGNED the Bubble Chair in 1968 as a contrast to the sheltered Ball Chair. Like the Ball Chair, the Bubble absorbs surrounding sounds and creates a feeling of your own, secluded and peaceful space. Yet, the entirely transparent shell connects the person sitting in the chair to the lighting and atmosphere of the surrounding space.

Eero Aarnio Bubble chair
Bubble Chair is Eero Aarnio’s favourite piece of his own work.

The Bubble hangs on a metal chain and is produced simply by blowing hot acrylic mass through the chair’s steel hoop – molds or other tools are not needed. Eero Aarnio got the inspiration from the dome-shaped skylights:

“After I had made the Ball Chair I wanted to have the light inside it and so I had the idea of a transparent ball where light comes from all directions. The only suitable material is acrylic which is heated and blown into shape like a soap bubble. Since I knew that the dome-shaped skylights are made in this way I contacted the manufacturer and asked if it would be technically possible to blow a bubble that is bigger than a hemisphere. The answer was yes. I had a steel ring made, the bubble was blown and cushions were added and the chair was done. And again the name was obvious: Bubble.”

“I wanted to have the light inside the Ball Chair and so I had the idea of a transparent ball where light comes from all directions.”

Eero Aarnio Bubble chair
Seat cushions of the transparent Bubble Chair have been upholstered in leather.

Eero Aarnio has named the Bubble as his favorite piece of furniture from his own production, and the chair is known to be found from, for example, Alberto Alessi’s home, who is generally considered the godfather of Italian design. The Bubble Chair that defies the laws of gravity and design has not aged a bit in five decades. The Bubble represents the futuristic design of the 1960s and is perfect for the currently trendy 1960s interior decoration style and buildings, and its light, floating form livens up modern and minimalistic homes as well.

Text: Nora Uotila Source: Eero Aarnio (Fang Hai, 2003) Photos: Suvi Kesäläinen, Eero Aarnio Originals and A-lehdet archives

You can purchase the Bubble chair with a special campaign price during June 2018.

See also:

Eero Aarnio's interview >
Eero Aarnio's designs >

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