Eero Saarinen, timeless perfection


Today, to add to my hashtag section, #icons, I thought I’d talk to you about one who gave splendid and no doubt timeless products: Eero Saarinen.

To show you who we are talking about, you just have to remember his Saarinen Tulip table and chair

the Saarinen table, the Tulip Armless chair and Tulip Arm chair

Does this tell you anything? In any case, whether you recognize it or if you’re still trying to figure out who he is, I suggest you read some of his fascinating history!

Eero Saarinen, of Finnish origin, later a naturalized American, was born in Kirkkonummi in 1910 and died in Ann Arbor in 1961.

We can say that he had dedicated his entire life to design, from the time he was small: his father was an architect, as well as being the director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Eero studied sculpture in Paris and then in 1930 he enrolled on an architecture course at Yale University, where he graduated in 1934. He then returned to Michigan to teach in Cranbrook, working to design products and to collaborate on architectural projects with his father.

Cranbrook was, in my opinion, what Eero identified as his lucky place.

There, he met Charles Eames, with whom he worked and experimented with the potential of new materials and production processes.

Then, it was the turn of Florence Knoll, with whom he developed a close, life long friendship and in the ’40s she became part of the family, and so Knoll, obviously invited him to draw for her company.

Knoll is still the reference point for the creation and distribution of Saarinen products, and his products are precisely among the most popular of the brand.

Eero Saarinen was a perfectionist and a serious designer, with a sculptural approach to product design. He was obsessed with revising his designs until he had found the perfect bend or the perfect line, all in perfect proportion.

Look at some of his creations and then tell me if you think he managed to find perfection.

the Tulip Arm chair
the Saarinen table and side table
the Saarinen table and the Tulip Armless chair
the Executive Armless chair and Executive Arm chair
the Womb chair
the Womb chair with Ottoman

What do you think then? Did he accomplish his goals, in your opinion? Have you ever heard about Eero Saarinen before today? Which of his products has impressed you the most? What could you see fitting in well in your space?


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