Design Moment: Bubble Chair, 1968
In the clear acrylic bubble, the view is everywhere, but the sitter still feels cocooned
If your first thought on seeing the Bubble Chair by Eero Aarnio (b.1932) is to worry that it might bring your ceiling down as it hangs on its chain, swiftly followed by doesn’t it get hot sitting in a plastic bubble, then maybe this groovy free spirited design from 1968 isn’t for you.
When it came to the market, its Finnish designer had already had huge critical and commercial success with his Ball Chair which was launched in Cologne in 1966 – the same shape as the bubble, but sitting on a pedestal and with solid walls and fully upholstered internally. In 2016 Aarnio, who still designs and creates, told The Irish Times that his inspiration for the ball shape came from his childhood, when lying in his pram on the balcony of the family apartment in Helsinki, his view of the sky was through a circle shape.
In the clear acrylic bubble, the view is everywhere. Of its design, he has said he wanted to have light inside the transparent ball coming from all directions, although the sitter still feels pleasantly cocooned in the soap bubble-shaped space. Still in production, the installation advice for the Bubble Chair is to hang it from a concrete ceiling or from steel or wooden beams.