Eero has always been drawn to the circular form and is perhaps best known for his designs ‘without edges’. The Tomato chair combines three circles on a basic seat, with two as armrests, one stretched to be a comfortable back. It is made of fibreglass which makes it suitable for outdoor use as well. Tomato was designed in 1971 by Eero Aarnio.
Dimensions: 141 cm width x 114 cm depth x 66 cm height
“Product ideas come to me in many different ways. For this I thought ‘a-ha!”
“Product ideas come to me in many different ways. For this I thought ‘a-ha!’ - the Pastil chair floats, it can carry a person across water, but it is not completely stable for this purpose. If I added armrests and a more defined chair back then it would be fun for the water, and so the Tomato chair was born. It is named to reflect the two round shapes when you look from the front: like the two circles in the word tOmatO.”
The Story of Tomato
After the success of the Pastil chair, Eero Aarnio had gained international attention, and made connections with his customers all around the world. One day in the early 1970s he heard that an American ophthalmologist loved to read the newspaper in the pool, floating in the Pastil chair. The only problem was that from time to time he would flip over and of course, newspapers and water don’t go well together. He wished Eero would design a chair that would stay steadily afloat. Eero began to think about this ‘customer feedback’ and accepted the challenge.
It was true, the Pastil chair does float and it can carry a person across water, but it is not completely stable for this purpose. The Pastil can capsize instantly due to sudden moves in water, which is why Eero would not recommend it to be used in water. How could Eero make one that would be more stable? “I thought, if I would add armrests and a more defined chair back then it would be fun for the water, and so the Tomato chair was born”, Eero recalls. On top of functionality Eero Aarnio never rules out the ergonomics of the form. The Tomato combines three circles on a basic seat, with two as armrests, one stretched to be a comfortable back.
The Tomato was named to reflect the two round shapes one sees looking at it from the front, like two circles in the word tOmatO. Moreover, the red color reminded Eero of a market square where he would see a stand and a table full of deep red tomatoes. In addition, he has always fancied names that would internationally mean the same in every language.
Merging perfectly in the collection of Eero Aarnio’s other fiberglass furniture, the Tomato is voluptuous, geometrically symmetrical and nowhere near dull. The chair celebrates the best features fiberglass can offer, giving the piece smooth form, luxurious shine, and durability.
In a sense, designing the Tomato chair Eero had fulfilled his desires from early adulthood to become a boat designer. His boat was only smaller than he would have thought.
More original Aarnio designs