Prevalent ideas in in art, design, architecture and music of the time included a fondness for mathematical concepts being used to create simple yet complex uniform outcomes often of a modular nature. Recommended reading of the time included Module Proportion Symmetry Rhythm edited by Gyorgy Kepes, published 1966.
An embodiment of this in popular culture could be seen with the success of Spriograph, toy of the year in 1967. All of a sudden, mysteries of mathematical formula could be conveyed using a simple cheap plastic cog, a geared outer framework, and a ballpoint pen.
Suuronen has often cited mathematics and not the utopian ideals of the then emerging space age as the inspiration for the Futuro. Having tried several similar forms, eventually it was the perfectly 2:1 proportioned ellipse he settled upon for the form for both its structural and aesthetic potential. Attempting to remove the idea of ‘design’ from the Futuro, the ellipse was to be repeated as frequently as possible throughout the structure - finding its form in windows, doorways, handles, light apertures, and various other nuances.
Perhaps the most famous Scandinavian standardisation in plastic structures is the Danish toy Lego whom launched their first plastic play brick in 1947. Truly minimal pieces of a limited range originally, today its range of pieces is so broad it could be argued it leaves little to the imagination.
Suuronen’s adoption of a militant mathematical approach chimed with that of artists of the time taking modern art and distilling it into rigorous conceptual approach.
Sol LeWitt, All Single, Double, Triple, and Quadruple Combinations of Lines in Four Directions One-, Two-, Three- and Four-Part Combinations (for Center Spread/Art and Project), 1969
Artists of the era such as Donald Judd were concerned with the reduction of elements to their core being, stripping work of its decoration and flourish, to be able to examine the properties of space and form in the purest sense.
Interestingly, if you look at Suuronen’s archive of work until his development of the Futuro and subsequent Casa Finlandia range it is comprised of pure rectilinear forms. As the cover of his portfolio of work from 1966 attests, he was interested in modular form at this stage, albeit in a strict X & Y axis form.
Following experimentation with fibreglass reinforced plastic domes whilst designing a grain silo roof, ostensibly the Futuro applied the same reductionist palette as Suuronen’s previous built projects, simply swapping the x:y adherence for one of 2:1 proportioned curvature.