Like all classics, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman get better with age, in part because of how they are made. From the innovative hardware that fastens the cushions to the shell without marring the appearance of the wood to the fact that each piece continues to be assembled by hand, the combination of craft and manufacturing consistency results in pieces that are genuinely authentic.
The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman have their origin in Charles and Ray’s investigations into moulding plywood and a desire to improve upon a familiar fixture in many living rooms: the lounge chair. Citing the English club chair as inspiration, Charles said he sought to design a modern version of that chair, one that had “the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”. Almost immediately, the design became an icon of American design. Today, these pieces not only live in museums, but continue to offer comfort and style to interiors everywhere. A universally recognised form, the set is available in a variety of veneers, multiple upholstery options – including a choice of leathers or Mohair – and two sizes. Whatever selection you make, you can be assured of the quality and authenticity of this design.
Both the chair and ottoman are hand-assembled with great attention paid to the details. Shells are 7-ply veneers. Cushions are individually upholstered and replaceable. The back braces and bases – of both the chair and ottoman – are die-cast aluminium. The chair base has a built-in swivel mechanism. Shock mounts are resilient natural rubber. Stainless steel glides are adjustable.
With a grand sense of adventure, Charles and Ray Eames turned their curiosity and boundless enthusiasm into creations that established them as a truly great husband-and-wife design team. Their unique synergy led to a whole new look in furniture. Lean and modern. Playful and functional. Sleek, sophisticated and beautifully simple. That was and is the “Eames look”.
That look and their relationship with Herman Miller started with moulded plywood chairs in the late 1940s and includes the world-renowned Eames lounge chair, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Charles and Ray achieved their monumental success by approaching each project the same way: Does it interest and intrigue us? Can we make it better? Will we have “serious fun” doing it?
They loved their work, which was a combination of art and science, design and architecture, process and product, style and function. “The details are not details,” said Charles. “They make the product.”
A problem-solver who encouraged experimentation among his staff, Charles once said his dream was “to have people working on useless projects. These have the germ of new concepts.”
Their own concepts evolved over time, not overnight. As Charles noted about the development of the Moulded Plywood Chairs, “Yes, it was a flash of inspiration,” he said, “a kind of 30-year flash.”
With these two, one thing always seemed to lead to another. Their revolutionary work in moulded plywood led to their breakthrough work in moulded fibreglass seating. A magazine contest led to their highly innovative “Case Study” house. Their love of photography led to film-making, including a huge seven-screen presentation at the Moscow World’s Fair in 1959, in a dome designed by their friend and colleague, Buckminster Fuller.
Graphic design led to showroom design, toy collecting to toy inventing. And a wooden plank contraption for taking naps, rigged up by their friend, director Billy Wilder, led to their acclaimed chaise lounge design.
A design critic once said that this extraordinary couple “just wanted to make the world a better place”. That they did. They also made it a lot more interesting.
The Eames Office
Organic Furniture Competition, Museum of Modern Art, 1940
Emmy Award, (Graphics), The Fabulous Fifties, 1960
Kaufmann International Design Award, 1961
25 Year American Institute of Architects Award, 1977
Eliot Norton Chair of Poetry, Harvard, 1971
Queen’s Gold Medal for Architecture, 1979
Named “Most Influential Designer of the 20th Century”, WORLDESIGN ‘85, Industrial Designers Society of America, 1985
The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention, Travelling Exhibition, Library of Congress, 1999
Eames Lounge Chair
Size Classic : H 31,5”, W 32,75”, D 32,75”, Seat H 15”
Size Tall : H 33,5”, W 32,75”, D 34,5”, Seat H 15,25”
Size Tall : H 17,25”, W 26”, D 21,5”