The Story of Screw
In the early 1990s Eero Aarnio faced yet another practicality problem in the family’s everyday life. Sitting in the Ball chair he longed for a kind of a side table, that would reach one’s lap when needed. As always, functionality as his first aim, Eero started his sketching. At first, the design was rather simple. To this curious and playful designer, the table looked even slightly dull. What could he come up with, to lighten up the spirit?
Eero Aarnio’s approach to industrial design has been often seen simple. Yet, forms that at first glance can seem concealed, become real and visible objects. Looking at the sketch of the new table, Eero suddenly saw a screw. Adding the screw threads would give the table a lot more depth and character. Suddenly, the object used in every household lost its hardware association and was transformed and highlighted as decoration in a completely new way. “The Screw is humoristic, it gives you a laugh”, Eero says.
Continuing with the material use of fiberglass was natural for Eero Aarnio. The only doubt in his mind was whether adding the screw threads would be feasible. He called the Artekno factory, manufacturing all his fiberglass furniture and simply asked whether the design was possible. He recalls that the factory instantly agreed, described it to be a fairly easy job. They already knew how it could be produced.
The first Screw was of the color red, and the very first ones were actually acquired by the German hardware company Würth. Later on, Eero came to the conclusion, that the best colors to convey the initial aesthetics of the Screw table are white and black. For Eero, certain products have specific colors to characterize their personality in the best way.
Observing his surroundings Eero Aarnio can see more than meets the eye. One could argue it comes from his curiosity to feed his imagination with questions like “what if?” and “what could be?”. His thinking process is unordinary, since Eero doesn’t always think to scale. The designer enjoys when reality is in distortion, sizes and expectations are inverted. When small things become big. For the Screw table, the same shape of its smaller and familiar source of inspiration, is realized very differently for a new purpose. Suddenly the form is not only about practicality, it is a statement piece itself. Eero is fond of playing with one’s inner world. “Of course, it is also good for the imagination: in which you are an inch tall in the land of giants, where even screws are almost your size…”