There are some things one can find in the world that embrace and embody the design of Heliopoli, even if not found in Heliopoli itself — though, if you asked the chief archivist, he would say they originated in that city and escaped before it was shut down, leaving no examples behind.
Be that as it may, the Egg Chair, or Ovalia, is one such object. Designed by Henrik Thor-Larsen, it was exhibited for the first time at the Scandinavian Furniture Fair in 1968. The chair was sold up to 1978 and was in demand throughout the world. It was relaunched with a few improvements in 2005.
Though owing much to Eero Aarnio’s 1963 Ball Chair, Ovalia deserves its place in the history of furniture design in the Heliopoli mode. Touted on its website as a “chair with a lot of attitude,” the Ovalia embraces encapsulation, self-containment, the geometricism of its time, and spaceship (regrettably retro) aesthetic. It begs to be fitted out with stereo speakers.
No wonder the designer is pictured at such ease in his chair. One cannot doubt the optimism of the future whilst sitting in it. One cannot do other than move forward in time.
With Ovalia, one has landed. One has arrived.
The chief archivist will take an orange one, please.
Images: press photos from www.ovalia.com