Anyway, anyway, I thought I would start adding a few more design, architecture and possibly art posts into the mix here. In an *ideal* world I would also have a design blog, an 1850-1950 art blog, an ultra minimal black and white blog (seriously obsessed by the idea.. saw one and it looked amazing, so pure, so disciplined!), but as you know I hardly find the time to update regularly here so that is patently unrealistic, sadly. Don't worry, though, I'm not by any means going to abandon fashion: it is still the area out of these which lends itself best to blogging, not least because of the huge interest in it (much, much more than in product design) and abundance of good imagery on the net.
I thought a good place to kick off would be with Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair, one of my all time favourite pieces of furniture, and #1 aspirational 'wish I owned' piece.
The Ball Chair (along with its close relation, the Bubble) is the best known piece by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. He designed it in 1966, as a piece of furniture for his first home which he had just moved into with his wife. It is of course heavily emblematic of 60s style now, but at the same time I think it has a real timelessness thanks to its elegance, the way it almost floats... it's hard to argue with one of the simplest geometric forms.
The designer himself in one of the earlier versions which had an inbuilt telephone (others had radios and reading lights integrated). Ball Chairs are indeed like a "room within a room" as intended; there's something very comforting about them, and they're an ideal place in which to escape the pressures of life for a while.
Of course they don't come cheap. The price is about £3,000GBP I think, so obviously one does not grace my student room here. When you consider the product itself though, the quality and the workmanship, the price is more understandable. And compared to fashion prices I think it is very reasonable: so many 'one season only' things are £1,000+ now, from shoes to dresses to bags, but this is a classic item which will last a lifetime, will never age really, will always hold resale value, and can be passed onto your children (unless, heaven help us, they turn out to be fans of Louis XV repros...)
There are cheaper imitations, but I think you have to get the real thing, manufactured in accordance with the designer's original specifications, when it comes to design classic furniture. I've also read accounts of how the ball sometimes snaps off the pedestal of fakes and goes rolling away!
I think the related suspended Bubble Chair enjoys greater popularity today, because it is less extreme and easier to integrate into interiors (couldn't find any really good pictures of the Ball in-situ) although for me it has never had the same appeal.
Eero-Aarnio.com (source of all images, except where stated otherwise)
Adelta.de (official manufacturer)