The Story of Mushroom
As a designer, Eero Aarnio has always been intrigued by new materials, and in 1954 he had the chance to try weaving rattan. For the first time Eero wove a basket of rattan. Turning it upside down he thought it looked like a stool. Inspired by this, Eero draught the first sketch of a rattan stool, adding a curve to the form to make it more interesting. This was the first sketch of the Mushroom.
The first official prototype was made by the Sokeva crafts organisation in Helsinki. Eero’s basket had been loose, and he wondered whether the material would work properly for the final design of the stool. Sokeva immediately said it would be fairly straightforward to make, and so the production began. The rattan Mushroom stool was the first commercial success by Eero Aarnio, presented at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1962. Asko Furniture company was very excited about the sales, and confident in the wide recognition the design would gain. After the fair, the stool was featured on a one-pager in the Femina magazine. In the coloured picture there was a girl sitting on the Mushroom.
Initially, the name of the design in Finnish was “Juttujakkara”, which translates at its best as “Story stool”. Eero felt like the name depicts perfectly a setting, where a close family is gathered in front of a warm fire place. However, the name was never fluently translatable to English, and later it was renamed by an American seller as Mushroom.
The first white fiberglass samples were only produced in the 1967, and the actual production did not start until the end of the 1990s, when other colors were also added to the collection. The Mushroom is a multifunctional furniture piece, as it works both as a stool as well as a small table. The functionality and neutral aesthetic make it a perfect addition to any interior decoration.