A leading Finnish architect and designer who emerged as an international figure in the 1960s, Aarnio trained at the School of Industrial Design in Helsinki from 1954 to 1957. He established his design practice in Helsinki in 1962, specializing in furniture and interior design, but also worked in graphics and photography. Although his earlier furniture designs respected vernacular traditions and materials, he began working with plastics in the early 1960s, producing such strikingly futuristic designs as the spherical 1963 Ball easy chair for the Helsinki company Asko Finnternational. Available in red, black, white, and orange it brought Aarnio to international notice and was followed by other innovative designs such as the bulbous Pastilli chair of 1967 and the red, Pop‐influenced Tomato easy chair of 1971. In the early 1980s he began designing furniture on the computer screen. His design work was recognized through the award of the Design Prize of the American Institute of Interior Design (1969), his inclusion in the Masters of Modern Design in New York (1991), and the reissuing of his 1960s designs in 1997.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.