Eero Aarnio Originals – the sole authorised manufacturer of classic designs by Eero Aarnio

The Story of Formula

In the late 1990s Eero Aarnio was still continuing his experiments with fiberglass as furniture material. Like the predecessors of many of his earlier designs, his next furniture piece was also based on optimizing his current collection. The Ball chair had led to the Pastil chair, which had led to the Tomato chair. The furthest development he pursued next led to a hybrid of the Pastil and Tomato.

As a young boy, Eero remembers the Finnish Grand Prix competition in motor racing next to their home district in Helsinki. Eero remembers going to see the competition with his father, or rather to hear them, since they couldn’t get close enough to actually see without tickets. Eero vividly remembers the sound of fast cars speeding piercing the air, and the excitement among the crowd. Little did he know then that one day he was going to build a Formula car himself.                                                                                                                    

The Formula chair is similar to the classic Pastil, the addition is the backrest. As a personal challenge, Eero wanted to strive for more sculptural elements in his next chair. Combined with the requisites of ergonomics, his thinking led to a solution that embodied aesthetics with comfortability. To give it something extra, Eero added a slot on the top of the other armrest to hold a drink. First and foremost, to sit in the Formula chair is a great comfort. When you look at a Formula 1 car, there are two very wide ‘armrests’ on either side of the driver, and a high headrest. Take away the wheels, and what is left is clearly a Formula chair.


“You can rock backwards and forwards, and let your imagination take you away”, Eero encourages. On the other hand, there is something completely new in the Formula chair, but at the same time, there comes certain familiarity with it. By his design aesthetics, Eero challenges and piques the interest in our inner world. His Formula might not be as fast as a car, but it will take one to a different place. For Eero, it goes back to his childhood where he can once again hear the speeding cars in the Finnish Grand Prix.