Tapio Wirkkala came to know plastic products while head of A-studio, the design section of the A. Ahlström corporation in Finland. In 1959, he designed the Caravelle service for the Caravelle jetliners of the Aero (later Finnair) airline. He also designed a wide range of plastic products for the Strömfors company, including electrical installation products, toilet seats and household goods. Wirkkala designed plastic packaging.

Tableware designed by Wirkkala for Finnair's DC-8 tourist class was in use from 1969 until the early 1980s.

The Artek company has recently reissued a table lamp model designed by Wirkkala in the 1960s.