Finish designer Eero Aarnio (b. 1932) designed his Bubble Chair in 1968. The chair was designed to hang from the ceiling because, according to Aarno, “there is no nice way to make a clear pedestal.” Users can curl up in this round cocoon shape and separate themselves from the distractions of the outside world.
Prior to designing the Bubble Chair, Aarnio created his iconic Ball Chair, which shares the same orb-like shape although it rests on a short pedestal. “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,” noted Aarnio when asked about his design. “The only suitable material is acrylic, which is heated and blown into shape like a soap bubble.” Although four types of leather seats are offered today, the designer prefers that the chair be paired with the silver leather cover.
The Bubble has a space-age feel that is very much in sync with the great leaps made by the space program in the 1960s. The length of the chain suspended from the ceiling (ideally a concrete ceiling) can be changed. When in motion, it has a very similar feel to a rocking chair: a user can be totally at ease curled up in the Bubble, shielded from distracting sounds thanks to the seat’s acoustics, gently rocking back and forth.
Although Aarnio is best known for his furniture designs, his playful aesthetic extends to his lighting design, which includes the notable Double Bubble and Swan lamps. Aarnio’s work can be found in the collections of many national museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; MoMA in New York; the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany; and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris