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Miniature Aarnio Ball Chair

by Eero Aarnio from Vitra.

miniature aarnio ball chair

Design Eero Aarnio, 1965
1/6 miniature scale model
Made in Poland by Vitra

For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design - moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the New Objectivity of Bauhaus and Radical Design, and from Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth of the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and color. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.

With its simple, striking shape and its bright colors Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair is a typical symbol of the optimistic, consumer-oriented popular culture of the 1960s. Equally apparent is an unconcealed enthusiasm for the technical which also typifies the era: its exposed plastic which allowed even complex shapes to be produced in series relatively easily, at the time something completely new, and its dynamic shape, reminiscent of a space capsule.

The idea of this kind of mobile capsule allowing people to sit where they want within the house also anticipates the kind of living concepts discussed in the 1970s for a young, liberal society. On the outside, this gleaming, polished sphere seems cold and futuristic, but its inside reveals a space where users can feel cozy and protected. From the inside outside noise is considerably muffled, allowing users to relax in any number of positions, for example, to sit cross-legged. Mounted on a round metal base just above ground level, the sphere can be completely rotated on its own axis, so that users can vary their view from the "cave". Ball Chair thus represents a special category of household objects. It is something between a piece of furniture and a piece of architecture and at the same time embodies both the mobile and the established, the fixed.

Each Vitra miniature is true to the original in construction and materials, and reduced in size on a scale of 1:6. Each miniature is packaged in a wooden box, accompanied by an informational booklet. Production notes: Each of the delicate objects are made by hand; on average, each miniature requires five hours of careful manual work. Ongoing quality control ensures that every miniature corresponds to its larger original in terms of finishing, details and materials.

8.25" h | 7.5" w | 6.75" d

$640.00 + free shipping
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Eero Aarnio

Eero Aarnio of Helsinki introduced his Ball Chair in 1963, one year after starting his own office. He followed suit with his Bubble Chair, floating Pastil Chair, and Tomato Chair. Using mostly plastic and fiberglass (though he would later abandon fiberglass due to its potential danger to manufacturers), Aarnio’s chairs implemented simple geometric forms and were thus popular as set pieces in 1960s science fiction films, and remain recognizable as such. Many of his furniture designs display a playful element, and currently Aarnio’s new designs include toys, children’s furniture, and combinations of both.
Vitra is a Swiss company dedicated to improving the quality of space through the power of design. A central goal of Vitra is sustainable development. Trendy styling is avoided in favor of classic pieces that can be used for decades.

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