Eames Chair, Lounge Chair, Aluminum Chair and more
When Charles and Ray Eames got to know each other, the ideas of their designs perhaps were already in their heads. But with the collaboration of the two, these ideas became furniture, whose design is still alive today.
The foundations of the Eames design
During the years of the Second World War few people were interested in furniture. So Ray and Charles spent this time developing leg rails and carrying. But what initially does not have much to do with furniture, in the end formed a foundation for later designs. Here the two learned how stratified wood was deformed under the influence of steam.
In the years after the war, the two gained from the collected experiences and created modern and yet timelessly beautiful furniture designs. The company Herman Miller offered a lucrative partnership and produced the furniture which later was known as the Eames Chair.
But wood was an expensive raw material, which could not be afforded by anyone. That is why the couple set the target furniture out of other, more favorable materials. This creative thought process culminated in the development of the Eames Chair. This was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on the occasion of a competition. The title of this exhibition was "low-cost furniture" and the chair an innovation.
A very special chair
In the early years the shell of the chair consisted of fiberglass plastic, which made the chair robust and easy to maintain. Each seat shell was cast in a cast and with its round, ergonomic shape they offered a particularly comfortable seat comfort. This means that the chair could be produced at a low cost in large quantities and is therefore still considered the first industrially manufactured plastic chair.
Later, the assortment was extended by a second seat shell with lateral armrests. This shell was also made from one piece.
The highlight, however, was and is still today the combinability of the seat shell. While the rest is always the same, the rest of the chair accentuates and opens up a lot of creative possibilities.
This starts with the seat cushions, which are optionally mounted on the seat or not. In addition to the additional optical contrast, the seat comfort can also be improved once again.
However, the exterior appearance of the chair is considerably greater due to the design of the frame mounted under the seat shell. Thus, filigree, playfully interlocking metal struts can be installed, which give the chair a certain lightness. Or the choice is made of rustic wooden legs, which give the chair a robust charm.
Also conceivable are simple chrome-plated pipes, which emphasize the functionality of the chair by their simplicity. With a pair of curved runners, the chair finally turns into a cozy rocking chair or the ideal gift for every tipping artist.
This individuality and its simple elegance finally made the Eames chair a sales sling and this hype is still unbroken today.
Each seat can theoretically be combined with any frame, since the fixtures are uniformly designed and this ultimately gives design latitude, which can be considered a perfection of the practical.
Not only chairs belonged to their repertoire
The Eames couple also experimented with other materials, creating charming chairs made of fine wire mesh, which are similar to the Eames chair, but which can be compared with a light, almost transparent design, which makes this chair design almost weightless.
This chair, called Wire Chair, can be combined perfectly with seats and back cushions, which makes the chair even more elegant.
Charles and Ray Eames have designed even more furniture and implemented countless design ideas. Therefore it would not only be a pity but also a mistake to reduce her work to the Eames Chair. Worth mentioning here are the Lounge Chair, the Aluminum Chair series and the extraordinary seating sculpture La Chaise.
All designs by the Eames couple are sold exclusively in Europe by Vitra. When this company met the couple, it was clear that they had to enrich the furniture culture in Europe with these furniture. Vitra keeps the spirit alive, helping to preserve the legacy of Charles and Ray.