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Pash Classics Blog

  • July's Mid-Century Roundup

     

    Explore our selection of the best mid-century gems from across the internet. Whether you're looking to get inspired, learn something new or if you are simply curious about the history behind your furniture, there's always something that tickles your fancy. Explore this month's selection below:

     

    1. America meets Charles & Ray Eames

     

    Arlene Francis, host of NBC's "Home" show, introduced Charles and Ray Eames to television audiences in 1956. In this short video, that also unintentionally highlights the change in perception of females designers, learn about what made the design duo tick and their iconic designs.

     

    Watch America meets Charles & Ray Eames here.

     

    Video link to watch America Meets Charles and Ray Eames Click to watch America Meets Charles & Ray Eames

    2. From Vertigo to Psycho, how Hitchcock changed the role of architecture in film

     

    Alfred Hitchcock may be well known as the most influential director of cinema, but it is sometimes forgotten how his career in film began: as a set designer. This article by Wallpaper Magazine explores how Hitchcock used architecture and set design to enhance his stories.

     

    Read more: From Vertigo to Psycho, how Hitchcock changed the role of architecture in film.

     

    Still image of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Midge’s apartment: Vertigo. (Paramount, 1958)

    3. Our favourite Instagram page this month: The Frost House

     

    When it comes to finding interior inspiration, you could do a lot worse than to turn to Instagram. Our favourite account of the month is The Frost House; The account shows the stunning interior of a lived in 1960's mid-century modern home. If you're wondering how you can style your next piece of mid-century furniture, this is the account to follow.

     

    Enjoy and follow The Frost House on Instagram.

     

    Image of a mid-century setting from the Frost House Instagram account. The Frost House: Our favourite Instagram profile this month.

    4. Dries Van Noten pays homage to Verner Panton with colourful SS19 collection

     

    In direct homage to the late Danish designer Verner Panton, Dries Van Noten has adorned his Spring/Summer 2019 collection with a selection of Panton's psychedelic and ever so 60's prints. Featuring his love of swirling S shapes and bold use of colour (which directly influenced the Panton Chair), we find the collection surprisingly wearable and incredibly eye catching.

     

    Read Dezeen's report and view the whole image gallery at: Dries Van Noten pays homage to Verner Panton with colourful SS19 collection

     

    A model wearing Verner Panton inspired clothes designed by Dries Van Notes. Verner Panton inspired designs by Dries Van Noten.
  • Your Guide to Eames Dining Chairs

    Out of all the dining chairs that have ever been designed, how many do you remember? I would assume it’s a handful at best. However, I’m certain that of that handful two would be Eames Dining Chairs. More specifically whether you know them by name of not, these would be the Eames DSW and the Eames DAW.

     

    The Eames DAW Chair The Eames DAW Chair

     

    They’re two of the most recognisable designs that have ever been created for the home and fly in the same circles as the Polaroid Camera and the ballpoint pen. But there’s more to Charles and Ray Eames’ timeless dining chairs than meets the eye; The collection is an impressive range of interchangeable seat tops, leg styles, colours and function.

     

    To help you familiarise yourself, here’s your guide to Eames Dining Chairs.

     

    The Inspiration Behind the Chairs

     

    Charles and Ray Eames began their venture in to furniture design in the early 1940’s, when furniture was commonly made from wood or metal, was often hand crafted, slow to produce and relatively expensive. Their goal was to create furniture that was affordable with Charles stating, ‘we want to make the best for the most for the least.’.

     

    However, before their vision was succeeded, the United States of America entered the war and a shift in the need for military equipment began. Ever functionally conscious, the duo turned their efforts towards designing and creating veneered plywood leg splints for injured soldiers in a process not too dissimilar to their later wooden dining chair designs.

     

    The Charles Eames Leg Splint The Charles Eames Leg Splint

     

    After the war ended the Eameses saw another opportunity for low cost functional design that would ultimately propel them in to the limelight of popular culture and change the way people styled their homes forever. With the plastic and fibreglass DAW chair they entered the International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design. The chairs were highly regarded as the ideal way to solve America’s low-cost furniture requirements.

     

    In 1946 their designs were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and from there the range quickly expanded. A side chair variation of the DAW was created to form the beloved DSW alongside an expanding range of base options which included the Eiffel Chair, the wire base and the rocker base.

     

    Bauhaus may have pioneered function, but the Eameses made it mainstream.

     

    How are the Eames Dining Chairs made?

     

    "What works good is better than what looks good because what works good lasts”, claims Ray. Combine this ethos with their vision of affordable design and we begin to understand why their use of moulded plastics has become such a characteristic of Eames designs. Originally crafted from Zenaloy (a plastic and fibreglass mixture formed by the US Army during World War 2), the chairs, including Pash Classics’ replicas, are now formed from an injection moulded ABS or Polypropylene plastic which is chosen for its strength, flexibility, easy malleability and ease to produce.

     

    The Eames DAW chair by Pash Classic's The moulded plastic Eames DAW Chair

     

    This use of plastics has also allowed for an iconic range of colours to be developed. Originally available in only greige, elephant-hide grey and parchment, the Pash Classics Eames dining chair replicas now come in 24 colours, so they truly can be used in any interior.

     

    Taking inspiration from their leg split and standing out from the Eames crowd thanks to their all wooden build are the and DCW and LCW chairs. These striking living and dining chairs are built from layers of veneered plywood which is moulded in to organic shapes that are meant to be enjoyed from every angle.

     

    Eames law and daw chairs Eames LCW and DCW wooden chairs.

     

    What Do the Acronyms Mean?

     

    So much so was Eames’ commitment towards simplicity and therefore affordability that the names of their dining chair ranges were condensed into acronyms for easy reference. Each letter refers to a main element of the chair: The height, the style and the base material:

     

    DSW: Dining (height) Side (chair) Wood (base)

    DAW: Dining (height) Arm (chair) Wood (base)

    DSR: Dining (height) Side (chair) Rod (base)

    DAR: Dining (height) Arm (chair) Rod (base)

    DCW: Dining (height) Chair Wood (base)

    LCW: Living (height) Chair Wood (base)

    DKR: Dining (height) Wire (K used for wire) Rod (base)

    RAR: Rocking (height) Arm (chair) Rod (base)

     

    Eames DSW Chairs

     

    The Legacy Continues

     

    Since their creation in the 40’s and 50’s, Eames chairs have been adorning the homes of those who understand the careful balance between function and style across the globe. Their influence on the world of design shows no sign of slowing down.

     

    The full range of Eames Dining Chairs are available at Pash Classics.

  • June's Mid-Century Roundup

     

    Rarely a day goes by without a new revelation or discovery in the world of mid-century modern furniture and design. The month of June was no exception. This month we have rounded up our favourites which include some amazing archive footage and a reincarnation of one of the past-century's most iconic buildings. Take a read below and click the links to explore further:

     

    1. Eames House Walkthrough

     

    Charles and Ray Eames may be best known for their iconic range of plastic moulded dining chairs, but they also broke new ground within architecture circles. The Eames House (romantically known as Case Study House No. 8), was designed by the pair in 1949. The Eames House Walkthrough video was recorded in 1997 by Eames Demetrios and offers you the chance to see inside and outside this magnificent home.

    Watch Eames House Walkthough here.

     

    eames house walkthrough video Watch Eames House Walkthrough

     

    2. Arne Jacobsen's Royal Hotel Reincarnated

     

    Hotels that you can take design inspiration from and apply to your own interiors are few and far between. Many hotels look great, but their interiors just don't work in a day to day home. We think, however, that an update to Arne Jacobsen's Radisson Collection Hotel in Copenhagen challenges this by bringing us suite interiors that are cosy whilst remaining extremely stylish in true mid-century fashion. The collection of new suites was designed by Space Copenhagen to reincarnate the golden age of jet travel.

    Take inspiration from the images at Revolution 606: The world's first design hotel, Arne Jacobsen's Royal Hotel, reincarnated for a new generation...

     

    sas royal hotel redesigned

     

    3. 11 London Cocktail Bars Quenching Our Thirst

     

    Wallpaper has found 11 of the best and most stylish bars in London. We love this list because each bar takes design cues from some of the mid-cenutyr's most unforgettable trends. Now to visit them all...

    Read 11 London Cocktail Bars Quenching Our Thirst

     

    London cocktail bar

     

    4. Artwork on Eames Chairs

     

    Shepard Fairy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Futura have given the Eames DSW and DSR chairs a contemporary art update for an LA exhibition titled Beyond The Streets. Will the chairs featured give you the inspiration to create your own chair art?

    Read Shepard Fairey and Keith Haring artworks applied to mid-century chairs to find out.

     

    Art DSW Chairs

  • Your Guide to the Eames Aluminium Group

     

    Whether you’re a long-time admirer, or if you’re just starting to explore the world of Charles and Ray Eames’ furniture, it’s hard to ignore the way their iconic designs help to radiate joy and increase the functionality of every room in the house. However, it’s also quite hard to forget just how much thought was put in to creating furniture for our second home: the office.

     

    Over their 50-year career, the design duo developed many chairs that would become office design icons, such as the ‘so New York’ ES104 Executive Office Chair. But it’s the modest Eames Aluminium Group chairs that have really stood the test of time and eased so many into a productive day at work.

     

    Eames EA117 and EA119 Aluminium Group The EA117 and EA119. Also known as the Aluminium Group

     

    So, what exactly is the Eames Aluminium Group and why are they still recognised as some of the best office chairs around?

     

    Origins

     

    One could be forgiven for thinking that the chairs were born out of the advertising offices of Maddison Avenue, as a way to let executives work in comfort for an ungodly number of hours a day. But you’d be wrong. In the 1950’s Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard were designing The Miller House in Indiana. This magnificent build required furniture to suit, but more specifically they wanted Charles and Ray Eames to design high quality outdoor chairs.

     

    The miller house The Miller House where the Aluminium Group was commissioned.

     

    The duo set to work and created a range of reclining aluminium chairs upholstered in a synthetic mesh. As their popularity began to increase in the world of furniture design, a demand for these chairs to become suitable for office use was born. In 1958, some tweaks were made and the EA117 Chair was born, with its high-backed brother the EA119 coming shortly after.

     

    Image of Eames aluminium group in an office environment The Eames Aluminium group once converted for office use.

     

    Materials

     

    Forever conscious with their use of build material and upholsteries, Eames designed the EA117 and EA119 with a cast aluminium frame which supported a stretched mesh fabric seat and back. Over the years the structural design has remained, but with updates to the upholstery to make it even more comfortable.

     

    The original mesh upholstery. The original upholstery: Synthetic mesh.

     

    Aluminium frame with stretched wool upholstery. The original aluminium frame construction with stretched wool upholstery.

     

    At Pash Classics you’ll find a choice of the original synthetic mesh, full grain Italian leather or luxurious wool. All perfectly in keeping with the original design.

     

    Ergonomics

     

    When the group transitioned from outdoor use to that of office spaces, Charles and ray Eames went back to the drawing board and gave both chairs some vital updates. Not by accident, these modifications have given the Aluminium group their status as extremely comfortable and ergonomic places to work;

     

    Lockable Tilt: Need to sit up straight? Or want to lounge back and relax? Thanks to the EA117 and EA119’s lockable tilt mechanism, you can find a posture that suits at the pull of a lever.

     

    360 Degree Swivel: One of the most basic functions of an office chair can be traced back to the mid-century thanks to designers like Charles and Ray Eames.

     

    Adjustable Height: Have you ever come across desks that are the same height? It happens, but it’s a rarity. Luckily Eames utilised an innovative gas lift system which allows for easy chair height adjustment, without the need to pull, push or twist the chair.

     

    When you combine all of these minor design revolutions, you have a chair that has remained at the forefront of ergonomic design for over 60 years.

     

    Today

     

    Even today it’s hard to see one of the Eames Aluminium Group chairs and see just another office chair. Their iconic style is a true archetype of mid-century design and a sure way to let the world know you care about where you sit. With the immerging popularity of working from home, you’re now just as likely to see an EA117 or EA119 at home as in the office.

     

    So why not browse the wide selection of Pash Classics Eames Aluminium Group replicas that won’t break the bank? A better working day awaits!

  • May's Mid-Century Roundup

     

    Even today, in 2018, there's always something new to discover in the world of mid-century design. Every month we share with you our round up of the most interesting stories, images and videos from across the internet. Enjoy!

     

    1. This month is rather special for lovers of mid-century furniture and architecture design. May 24th marks the 101st birthday of pioneering designer Florence Knoll. So what better way to start things off than 7 Things to Know About Mid-Century Design Pioneer Florence Knoll?

     

    Eileen Gray

     

    2. Architecture and furniture design go hand in hand, so much so that you almost can't have one without the other. One of our favourite mid-century architecture projects of the year is shown in all its glory at Ras-A Overhauls Mid-Century House Under a Bridge in LA. Keep an eye out for a few Eames chairs that really enhance the home's amazing design.

     

    Image of mid-century house designed by Ras-A Photo by Lauren Moore

     

    3. One of the reasons why we still love furniture of the 1950's and 60's is because of it's influence on pop culture. But it is easy to forget that this cultural influence may never have happened if it wasn't for the rapid accessibility of photography for the masses. This Man Collects Mid-Century Modern Cameras is an interesting video short from Gizmodo that shows some really amazing camera designs from the past 100 years.

     

    This Man Collects Mid-Century Modern Cameras Video

     

    4. From the most unlikely of places comes somethings rather interesting. GoCompare's Alternate Architecture shows how some of the world's most iconic architecture designs could have looked. The series of images includes the Sydney Opera House, the design of which was chosen by non other than Tulip Table designer Eero Saarinen.

     

    The Sydney Opera House if it was a different design. Alternative Architecture by GoCompare
  • Your Guide to Mid-Century Sideboards

     

    You’ve got the chair that makes a statement, the lighting is perfectly positioned, and the walls are painted your favourite shade of colour, but there’s something missing…

    Storage is often overlooked in the home, especially when it comes to storage that is purchased as an investment. The right piece can last you a lifetime by sitting perfectly alongside your constantly evolving home interior and complementing all of the décor choices you make for years to come.

    If there’s one style of furniture that fits the above criteria, it’s the mid-century sideboard. Made great by their simple rectangular shapes combined with natural wood finishes and ample amount of practical storage, mid-century is a style that isn’t going away any time soon. If you haven’t got thousands to spend on a vintage original piece, Pash Classics are here to help with the exclusive range of handmade mid century cabinets and sideboards at a surprisingly affordable price.

    Here’s everything you wanted to know about the range:

     

    Danish Inspired: No one designs wooden mid-century furniture quite like the Danes. Their key to success is through an appreciation of minimal design that doesn’t need to be changed every season, but instead works alongside your other furniture. Because of this, the Pash Classics range of sideboards are inspired by Danish design, so you too can invest in this classic look.

    Pash Classics' Christiana Sideboard in walnut

    Handmade in Britain: The design is timeless, so it’s only right that the quality is too. By working with skilled local cabinet makers, every single Pash Classics Sideboard is crafted in our home country of Leicestershire by hand and made to order. Relax in the knowledge that your cabinet is made just for you.

     

    Customisable: There are plenty of great designs to choose from such as the majestic Brunndal Sideboard or the geometric Elba Sideboard. But sometimes your space needs something a little bit more personal. That’s why we offer all of our cabinets in customisable colours and dimensions. Looking for on trend green doors? No problem, simply contact us to find out more.

     

    Real Wood Veneer: A hallmark of mid-century design, multiple layers of MDF make up the solid structure to each sideboard with a high quality, real wood walnut or oak veneer exterior. Each piece is then protected with a lacquered coating.

    Pash Classics' Elba Sideboard in walnut

    How to style your sideboard: Versatility is the key to great design, and there’s almost no limit to the ways you can style your mid-century sideboard. Their larger size and grand appearance makes the dining room an ideal location, perfect for storing cutlery and seating candles. Offices and bedrooms are also great locations for the sideboard by giving extra storage for clothes or office supplies whilst giving a style upgrade to these often forgotten about rooms.

    To stay perfectly on trend, adorn your sideboard with plenty of green plants. Shades of green are complemented by the real wood walnut veneer and help to bring the outdoors inside. Plant your greenery in terracotta pots for even more earthy tones.

     

    You can browse the whole selection of mid-century sideboards at Pash Classics.

  • April's Mid-Century Roundup

     

    It's no secret that here at Pash Classics we're huge fans of mid-century design, and we know you are too. But there's more to it than just great looking furniture, the world around us is full of ideas, cities and people that continue to be influenced by this iconic movement. With our Mid-Century Roundups we hope to give you a small snapshot of the world through a mid-century lens by sharing the very best articles, images and videos of the month that we know you'll love. So pull up your favourite lounge chair, sit back and enjoy:

     

    1. Firstly we have a Look Inside California's Mid-Century Modern Mansions. A captivating glimpse in to the homes of the 1950's and 60's super rich through the late Marvin Rand's new photography book.

     

    Image: Look Inside California’s Hidden Midcentury Modern Mansions Image: Look Inside California’s Hidden Midcentury Modern Mansions. Credit: The Estate of Marvin Rand.

     

    2. Have you ever wished there was an ABC book of mid-century design for your children? Well it may be niche but, but now there is and we love it. Enjoy A Q&A With Julie Merberg, Author of Baby's First Eames.

     

    Image: A Q&A With Julie Merberg Author of Baby's First Eames Image: A Q&A With Julie Merberg Author of Baby's First Eames. Credit: Downtown Bookworks.

     

    3. When it comes to classic design one can't ignore Copenhagen. Denmark's capital has become increasingly popular as a weekend getaway and with it's rich heritage of style, design and cuisine there's a lot to see and do. The New York Times provides you with a handy guide for 36 Hours in Copenhagen.

     

    Image: 36 Hours in Copenhagen. Credit: Jane Beiles Image: 36 Hours in Copenhagen. Credit: Jane Beiles
  • Poul Henningsen's Artichoke Lamp

    ‘Future comes by itself, progress does not.’ Poul Henningsen unintentionally summed up his own designs through an off the cuff quote that helps us to understand why his work looks just as modern today as they did 70 years ago.

     

    poul-henningsen

     

    Born in 1894 in Denmark, Henningsen studied as an architect from 1911 to 1917 but never graduated. His focus changed from perusing a career in architecture to one in design and painting. It was this decision that helped him in to become the revered designer and innovator his legacy is known for.

     

    If you’re not sure who Poul Henningsen is by name, we’re sure you will know him through his famous Artichoke and Snowball lamps, amongst a wide range of other lights and pendants that would go on to change the way designers look at lighting a room.

     

    Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics

     

    Henningsen became fixated by the idea of recreating the warming and relaxing glow of petroleum lamps which he remembered fondly from his childhood. He considered modern light bulbs to be way too bright, to him they were purely functional, not emotional.

     

    To turn a modern bulb into a light that could bring emotion and style to a room, Henningsen set to work in his attic. By painting the room black, he used candles surrounded by grease stained paper to create varying curves of light and shadow.

     

    Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics

     

    From here he measured thousands of light angles in a process he would call Fotometer. These findings would be used throughout his career and influence a great number of his designs. Poul Henningsen had perfected the reflection, shadow and glare of light.

     

    His first lamp, the PH Lamp, was a major success and in 1925 brought the young designer in to international limelight. The success that came from this design allowed PH to spend an entire career in pursuit of even greater light sources.

     

    We believe that this perfection was created in 1958, when Henningsen designed the PH Kogle, or Artichoke Lamp. Originally called the Kogle in Danish due to its resemblance to a conifer cone, one can instantly see the inspiration behind both names. It was this pendant that thrust Poul Henningsen's lighting designs in to the spotlight of mid century design.

     

    Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics

     

    Created from laser cut brushed aluminium leaves that look both natural and entirely intentional, perfectly reflect its hidden light source from all angles. The lamp’s specially chosen range of colours (copper, white, silver or gold) give a variety of tones to the escaping light which not only turns heads but completes Poul Henningsen’s vision of a perfectly lit room.

     

    Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp Reproduction by Pash Classics

     

    Outside of lighting design PH was a widely recognised critic, author and architect. At the beginning of the Second World War he worked as chief architect for the world’s oldest theme park, Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Here he was responsible for the creation of Glassalen, a beautiful theatre within the park’s grounds.

     

    As Nazi Germany took occupation of Denmark, Henningsen found himself under heavy observation due to his outspoken nature in writings such as “Hvad med Kulturen?” (What About Culture?), a heavily critical piece on Danish cultural life and his involvements with anti-fascist organisations. As a result, he fled to Sweden where he continued to write and design.

     

    In 1967 Poul Henningsen died, leaving behind a legacy of design.

  • The History of the Egg Chair

    We don’t use the word masterpiece lightly at Pash Classics, but Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair undoubtedly qualifies. Fifty years after its creation, it continues to bring a sophisticated presence to some of the most designer and exclusive interiors in the world.

     

    Egg Chair in white wool upholstery Egg Chair in white wool upholstery

     

    Even if you didn’t know the chair by name, we’re sure you’ve instantly recognised its iconic curved aesthetic. Jacobsen’s now famous chair has made its way into a plethora of films, music videos, luxury hotels and homes of the style minded. The Beatles ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ video and Big Brother to name just two, albeit on different sides of culture!

    Designed in 1958 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, a revolutionary concept to create the world’s first designer hotel was not entirely successful. As a result, the building now stands with much of the original designs stripped. Yet the chair instantly stood out in stark contrast to the building’s almost exclusive use of horizontal and vertical lines and has since become one of the most classic designs of the past century.

     

    The SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen The SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, home to the Egg Chair

     

    Despite being first and foremost an architect, Jacobsen had toyed with being a product designer for the majority of his working life and had previously designed several pieces of furniture in collaboration with Frtiz Hansen.

     

    However, it was the ergonomic curved forms of Eames’ iconic Lounge Chair and Eeero Saarinen’s Womb Chair that gave Jacobsen the inspiration for what was to become his most famous design. In his home garage Jacobsen acted like a sculpture and created clay models to perfect the chair’s curved design, finding balance between ergonomics and style.

     

    As a designer who was ever pushing style and technology forward a new technique, never before been used in furniture design was developed. Instead of creating the base from wood as was common in pre-war Europe, a strong foam inner shell was used to create the shape in production.

     

    The original run of these magnificent chairs were created only for the SAS Hotel. However, due to their immense popularity a small run of ‘special edition’ Egg Chairs were created shortly after. To maintain their exclusivity each chair was extortionately priced at $60,000 in 1958.

     

    Luckily for you, Pash Classics offer a reproduction Egg Chair, modelled from an original design, for a significantly lower price but with all of the quality. Constructed from a high quality fibreglass shell and upholstered in your choice of wool, cashmere or Italian leather.

     

    Black Leather Egg Chair by Pash Classics

     

    In the years since its initial creation, the Egg Chair has become a symbol of mid-century design and has made cultural appearances throughout every decade since. Many could even be forgiven for assuming the chair was designed in the 70’s, thanks to its consistent appearance in brightly coloured upholsteries in homes across the UK.

     

    The chair’s head turning design makes it a great choice for those who are looking to add an accent chair in to their living room, and its ergonomic design makes it an easy choice for relaxing in. Surely nothing makes a statement quite like the world’s most famous chair?

     

     

     

     

     

  • Eero Aarnio’s Furniture of the Future

    Eero Aarnio is an innovator of Modern Furniture design who has influenced the lives of so many from his home studio with two striking designs, the Ball and Bubble Chairs. So how did these world famous designs come to be?

     

    Aarnio was born in 1932 in Finland, meaning that the young designer-to-be spent his childhood in a country deeply affected by the second world war. He grew during a period of rapid post-war technological progression, in a culture that was ready to pioneer design for the masses.

     

    Eero Aarnio in front of the pop culture that helped propel his designs in to the limelight. Eero Aarnio in front of the pop culture that helped propel his designs in to the limelight.

     

    This culture of pioneering design spawned the minimal, wood focused Nordic modern furniture that has become so popular in recent years thanks to its low cost, quick production and achingly beautiful aesthetic.

     

    However, Aarnio broke away from the styles that surrounded him, not out of rebellion, but out of the joys of design. As an individual who always looks forward never backwards, he was interested in the new wave of technologies and materials that were under development.

     

    In the early 1960’s he began to experiment with bright colours, geometric shapes and the materials plastic and fibreglass.

     

    By 1966 his first solo project using these materials was unveiled at the International Design Fair in Cologne. It was a design that had taken years to develop, with the prototype itself being hand made over the course of a year by Aarnio and his brother.

     

    Aarnio wanted a chair that could fit himself, his wife and their two children in all at once, but also a chair that could give the user an area of personal space, even in a busy room. Above all however, the chair must be of high quality, as ‘quality will last’ Eero says. A quality design is an investment that can be passed down through generations.

     

    The Ball Chair was an instant hit which adorned the homes of celebrities across the globe and became a staple on TV shows and in films. It stood as a stark contrast to Nordic design’s appearance and was incredibly comfortable to sit in. The Chair was in-fact the first ever to be produced in fibreglass, and the first ever to make use of the ‘perfect shape’, a sphere; the New York Times described the chair’s shape as one of ‘the most comfortable forms to hold the human body’. The ideal piece was created for a rapidly changing world and the emergence of pop culture.

     

    Eero Aarnio Ball Chair Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair reproduction from Pash Classics

     

    However, Aarnio never intended for his design to become a symbol of 60’s pop culture, nor did he intended for the phrase ‘space aged’ to be so closely associated. His ethos is always to create furniture that’s functional and produced from methods cheap enough for anyone to own. It just so happens a chair this practical and comfortable would use a shape associated with space travel (Sputnik, of course!).

     

    One is easily forgiven for relating his designs with this phrase, though. 60 years on and the Ball Chair is still a piece in high demand by interior designers, home owners and children across the world. If that wasn’t futuristic design, then we don’t know what is!

     

    Pash Classics' Ball Chair reproduction uses similar build techniques to Aarnio’s original designs and makes use of his favourite material with a glossy fibreglass shell seated on a swivel base and available for £599, meaning that this design really can be owned by anyone.

     

    But this wasn’t the end of Aarnio’s influence on design. Two years later Aarnio developed the Bubble Chair in realisation that the Ball Chair could be dark inside when reading. He understood that, although this gave the chair it’s desired effect of creating a room within a room, not everyone wanted to be so enclosed. He was left with two options, either add a light or create the chair from transparent materials.

     

    Eero Aarnio's Bubble Chair reproduction from Pash Classics Eero Aarnio's Bubble Chair reproduction from Pash Classics

     

    We’re sure you agree with us when we say we’re glad he chose to pioneer another new material. This time transparent acrylic plastic was the favourite.

     

    In 1968 the Bubble Chair was released with the same intentions and to equal acclaim as its predecessor. This design features a hanging chain which allows the chair to be suspended from the ceiling or from a chrome plated stand.

     

    Just like the Ball Chair, the Bubble came with all of pop culture’s love and was featured in everything from celebrity photoshoots to Playboy and the world’s most influential design magazines.

     

    For those who are looking to own a piece of design history, the Pash Classics reproduction Bubble Chair remains faithful to the original design and is priced from £649.

     

    Eero Aarnio continues to design at his home studio in Finland to this day, with the same influences as ever: always looking towards the future and living out his inner child through designs that are fun to look at, use and own.

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