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Style Profile: Eero Aarnio

Signature products from this Finnish designer include the Bubble Chair and the playful Puppy

Posted: 5 October 2010

Finnish Aarnio (born 1932), is one of furniture design’s great innovators and uses plastics, vivid colours and organic forms.

What inspired Puppy?
A love of dogs. We had an Old English sheepdog for 14 years; one of my daughters had a Tibetan Terrier and a Spanish Waterdog; my other daughter has a mixed breed.

Who is your design hero?

If you can call an architect a design hero, then Frank Gehry is it.

What is your philosophy for life?
Carpe diem: seize the day, because it is the only reality.

Which of your own designs is your favourite?
Bubble Chair, because it is made the same way as soap bubbles, which delighted me when I learned to blow them as a young boy during the war.

And by another designer?
A good design is a product that, from the beginning, has found a right solution and does not need any improving. Unfortunately, many products are no longer considered excellent and really genuine, but are taken for granted. There are many products like this, such as the wheel, or steps, a match, candles, zipper, scissors, brick, pencil, glass, comb, spoon… There is a designer behind each of these objects, but nobody knows who.

What dream children’s product would you like to create? I’d like to design a true flying carpet for children, based on the two opposing magnetic charges. The carpet would be woven with magnetic fibre and on the floor there would be a designated area with the same magnetic charge, which would repel the charge of the carpet and thus make the carpet and the child sitting on it float above it. I’m sure this would be possible to make, as in Japan they have already made a silent, magnetically levitated train that floats 1cm above the rail at a speed of 550km/hr and weighs thousands of kilos. A flying carpet and a child sitting on it doesn’t weigh that much.

Puppy by Eero Aarnio, in four sizes from small to extra large, from £30. Available from

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