Herman Miller Designers: Eames Molded Plastic


Eames Molded Plastic Chair Collection

The Eames Molded Plastic Chairs were groundbreaking at the time of their unveiling. Sculpted forms that rejected the aesthetic of the average chair (either cushy and stuffed or wooden and straight-laced), the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs were an industrial echo of the original molded plywood chairs built in the 40s. The forms of the chair were simple, gently contoured, and clean.

Using the same heat and pressure techniques that resulted in the Eames' breakthrough molded plywood material, the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs became the first mass-produced plastic chairs in history. Popularity wedded to critical acclaim is, of course, nothing new the Charles and Ray Eames. The chairs made available today (through Herman Miller) are the same design, but the plastic has been updated to make the chairs safer and more environmentally responsible. These are chairs the perfectly fit their time: optimistic, pioneering, and new.

Molded Plastic Side Chair

The Eames Molded Plastic Chair is just one more in a long line of innovations from two designers and artists who were always looking to do more with newer and better materials. The newness and technological explosion of the modern world fascinated the couple, and they did all they could to fuse it with the natural beauty they same in the organic world. Plastic was an especially attractive material for the Eames' because it meant they could do a lot (and use a lot) with an extremely cheap and disposable material.

The Eames Molded Plastic Chairs could be easily made and mass-produced because of the relative simplicity of their construction. Putting them together and shipping them out was as easy as designing their exact look was challenging. The Eames Molded Plastic Chairs are the result of months of tinkering and enthusiastic, creative design. In the end, the shape is pleasing to the eye and easy on the body. Without using padding, leather, cushions, or traditional armrests, the Eames' had created a chair that served every need of the modern American, while at the same time looking great and being comfortable. It was a transparent, modern design, and with ease it captured the spirit of the times.

The Eames Molded Plastic Chair is the gorgeous outcome of the serendipitous meeting of era and mind between the Eames' and the changing American landscape of the 50s and 60s.

Herman Miller's only change to the chair is a modern improvement the Eames' would have loved: it is now made with recyclable polypropylene, as opposed to the fiberglass-infused plastic with which it was first made.


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