Chicago, IL (PressExposure) January 07, 2012 -- The question, in fact, should be, "Who Were the Eames and why should we care about their chairs?" Charles and Ray "Bernice" Eames were two of the Twentieth Century's most influential designers of furnishings and fabrics. Married in 1941, they met while Charles, an architect by training, was head of the Industrial Design department at Cranbrook Academy of the Arts in Michigan and Ray was a student.
Although Charles was often given sole credit for their early chair designs, the Eames' partnership was one of absolute parity and Ray was deeply involved in the design of their most iconic pieces. Their research during the Second World War into the development of an inexpensive method of molding plywood into compound forms (they developed lightweight molded plywood splints for the US Navy out of their California home) resulted in the refinement of an early Eames/Eero Saarinen chair for distribution in 1946 by Herman Miller.
The design goal was to create chairs that were technologically innovative while openly incorporating the technology into the design aesthetic. This resulted in simple, organic forms that were comfortable and functional. Dubbed the "Potato Chip" chair for its gently curving shape, the LCW (Lounge Chair Wood) was molded to the shape of the body with excellent lumbar support for a super comfortable sitting experience.
The Eames' revolutionary work in molded plywood lead to their work in molded plastics and fiberglass. In 1948, they entered their chair called "La Chaise" in the Museum of Modern Art's International Competition for Low Cost Furniture Design. Ironically, the chair, a swooping piece of molded plastic on steel legs, was deemed too expensive to manufacture. In 1949, the LAR (Lounge Armchair Rod) was premiered at the Industrial Design exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. The LAR, a modified version of "La Chaise", is still in production today through Herman Miller along with its sister pieces the RAR (Rocking Armchair Rod) and DAR (Dining Armchair Rod).
"Rod" refers to the metal struts that create the leg base of the chairs. This grouping of chairs, known as the Plastic Shell Group, was the culmination of the Eames' earlier work in molded plywood and was among the first consumer products to make use of the high-performance materials developed by the aircraft industry during WW II. Innovative and yet always comfortable, the plastic, as with the earlier plywood frames, was molded to the contours of the body for comfortable seating and support.
Functionality was always of paramount importance to the design process for the Eames'. Public school cafeterias and gymnasiums across the country owned stacks of these molded plastic chairs at the ready for easy set up and removal, particularly in the sixties and seventies. In the 1990's, the "La Chaise" chair was finally put into production by European furniture makers Vitra to instant critical acclaim and it finally joined its fellows in the pantheon of Twentieth Century furniture design.
The Eames chairs were clearly inspirations for many designers to come through the next few decades. Whether it was the inspiration of the forms themselves, or the use of materials applied to new forms, the Eames' chairs set the standard for modern furniture design to this day. Feel like buying Eames chairs, Visit our Website and Discover the Large Verity of Eames chairs.
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