Miniatures Ball Chair
Eero Aarnio, 1965
The idea of this kind of mobile capsule allowing people to sit where they want within the house also anticipates the kind of living concepts discussed in the 1970s for a young, liberal society. On the outside, this gleaming, polished sphere seems cold and futuristic, but its inside reveals a space where users can feel cozy and protected. From the inside outside noise is considerably muffled, allowing users to relax in any number of positions, for example, to sit cross-legged. Mounted on a round metal base just above ground level, the sphere can be completely rotated on its own axis, so that users can vary their view from the »cave«. Ball Chair thus represents a special category of household objects. It is something between a piece of furniture and a piece of architecture and at the same time embodies both the mobile and the established, the fixed.
For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus and New Objectivity, from Radical Design and Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and colour. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.