Saturday, June 21, 2008

Design Spotlight: Eames Lounge Chair

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman made of interlocking molded-plywood with a Brazilian rosewood veneer frame and black leather was released in 1956. The inspiration for the chair was the comfortable feel of a well worn catcher's mitt. The final product grew out of Charles and Ray Eames pursuit to produce designs that both worked and looked good. The most recognizable and iconic chair that often decorates movies, television shows and commercials has been produced by Herman Miller for over 50 years.

Charles became interested in working with molding plywood after he and Eero Saarinen won "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" in 1940 from the museum of Modern Art for their chairs and tables. In 1942, Charles and Ray Eames developed molded-plywood leg splints for the U.S. Navy's wounded serviceman. The Eames product development on such a huge scale (~150,000 splints) for the Navy undoubtedly strengthened their abilities and spearheaded them to incorporate the resource into their lounge chair.

Of course, the Eames lounge chair and ottoman was not released until 1956 which was a full 16 years down the road from when Charles won his first award for working with molded plywood. Over those years Charles and Ray experimented with their personally designed machine they called the Kazam! for molding the plywood. Through their experimentation the team finalized on a chair made of three pieces of molded plywood. Various products came out of the molding plywood including chairs with wood or metal legs, table, and screen.

Today the Eames lounger and ottoman is available in various leather colors including black, ivory, tan, or chocolate on cherry, walnut, or a palisander frame. Depending on the materials chosen the chair is price is between $3,599.00 - $4,499.00 according to the licensed dealer Design Within Reach.

A few books about the work of Charles and Ray Eames:
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


eames lounge chair said...

Thank you for this very informative article about the Eames lounge chair. I didn't know the inspiration for it was a well worn catcher's mitt! You learn something new every day!

Eames Lounge Chair said...

Very nice article! It really made me interested here. Thank you for bringing more informative post. I can't wait to read more of your blogs