Retro 1960s Style: Eero Aarnio’s Iconic Ball Chair

Posted: 02/06/2023 @ 20:56PM

We love Modernist fashion, but we also love Modernist furniture too.


In this post we take a look at Eero Aarnio’s 1963 modernist masterpiece, the Ball Chair.The perfect statement chair and accessory to complement your Atom Retro Clothing and Mod lifestyle!


With it’s simple geometric form, the Ball Chair (or Globe Chair) is essentially a hollow sphere of acrylic with an opening on one side that is upholstered and includes a padded seat and back rest. The sphere is then attached to a swivel base. It’s form is considered a classic of Industrial Design. The unconventional and futuristic shape, both sculptural and functional were in tune with 1960s popular culture and were perfect for sets on Sci Fi Tv shows and films of the 60s. Such was the chairs striking visual appeal and bold style, the Ball Chair is now truly iconic of the period and is often used in modern sets and exhibitions to represent 1960s style.

The Ball Chair is notably used in the classic 1967-1968 TV show, The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan as Number Six. This is a prime example of where the structural form of the chair perfectly suited the setting. An almost sinister atmosphere could easily be achieved by merely sinking in to the shadows of the ball chair.

Scenes from Ken Russell’s 1975 Rock Opera of The Who’s ‘Tommy’ showed Silver Screen icon, Ann-Margret lounging in the futuristic silhouette of a pristine white Ball Chair, another classic example of 60s space age design used in film.


Also perfect for photo shoots, Francoise Hardy looks a picture of style in Jean-Marie Perrier’s 1966 photograph. Sitting in an orange Ball Chair with a space age silver back drop dressed in classic black.

How many Small Faces can you fit inside a Ball Chair? The answer is four. A slightly more offbeat use of the Ball Chair was used by photographer John Rodgers when he captured his classic shot of The Small Faces. An orange ball chair was situated on a typical 1960s residential street, the band crammed inside the sphere.  Note all the cool cars in the background! The shot captures 1960s mod style to perfection!

It does seem that orange was the colour! Nancy Sinatra who famously loved boots that were made for walking even found the time to sit down and have a rest in the comfort of a ball chair!

The Ball Chair is an icon of 1960s modernist style, a piece of furniture that although simple in form in always guaranteed to catch the eye!