Eerno Aarnio is a popular Finnish designer renowned as one of the greatest modern furniture innovators. He remains popularized because of his ball chair. He began to experiment with materials such as fiberglass and plastic during the 1960s, incorporating organic forms which were separate from traditional designs. He utilized vivid colors in his designs echoing the spirit of pop culture during the 1960s. His works remain on display at some of the most prestigious museums in the world, showcasing his spirit and creativity.
His first office opened in Finland, and soon he expanded to design studios in Germany and throughout other regions of Finland. Aarnio’s creativity, genius, and innovative simplicity have won him many awards. His modern classic chairs have warranted first prize in the Valmet Trade Mark Competition in 1958 in Finland. He was also awarded third prize in the International Furniture Competition in Cantu, Italy during 1959. Continuing his creative winning streak, he received third prize again at the Export Furniture Competition in Helsinki, Finland the year after he opened his own shop in 1963. Returning to Cantu, Italy in 1964 he walked away with first prize in that year’s International Competition on Furniture Design. In Stockholm, Sweden he also claimed first prize at the Scandinavian Park and Street Competition in 1965.
Aarnio’s modern classic chair designs continued to gain him recognition in Helsinki, Finland where he took second prize in 1967 for the Steel Furniture Competition. Traveling to New York City, he was given the International Design Award of the American Institute of Interior Designs for his modern chairs in 1969. 1999 brought him recognition as an honorary member of the Finnish Association of Interior Designers. He took home the Finland Prize 2005 from the Ministry of Education in Finland as well as the Interior Innovation Aware Cologne 2006 in Germany.