Getting a "do-over" usually only happens in video games, and it's even rarer still in the world of design. With Eero Aarnio's molded fiberglass Soap Chair, he's improved on his own classic design, creating a version of his revered 1968 Pastil Chair for today's lifestyle.
The designer says, "I like to keep my design range as wide as possible. For example, the smallest object I designed is a tooth pick for Finnair and the largest one is my studio home." For the chair he added an integrated handle for easy transport and a built-in cup that holds mobile phones or remote controls—updates that allow for spontaneous furniture rearranging for those always-on-the-go. Also in keeping with current sustainable thinking, Aarnio explains that to "confirm the quality and trust that my new chair lasts for generations to come and thus be part of sustainable development," the seating is produced in Finland at the same factory where his arguably more famous Ball Chair was made.
Like Ball and his other furniture, the living legend (he's worked for five decades as a photographer and furniture and interior designer) derived the Soap Chair's name from its shape. Drawing by hand in full 1:1 scale before forming a model in wood, Aarnio then studied the shape from every angle and test sat to ensure it's balanced and ergonomically correct. The new design features soft corners and only comes in two colors—white because "it always looks good in fiberglass" and light blue because that is one of the colors typically occurring in Savon de Marseille (although he may add more soap colors to the collection later).
The Soap Chair (photographed at Aarnio's home in Finland) launches today exclusively on the new members-only site DesignStory (joining is a snap). Available for one week only alongside other notable works, each of the ten on offer is signed by Eero Aarnio and sells for $1,850.