Herman Miller Eames Molded Plastic Armchair
designed by Charles and Ray Eames
At A Glance:
New materials, especially those that held promise for doing more with less, fascinated Charles and Ray Eames throughout their careers. Their fascination led to inventive modern furniture, such as the molded plastic chair. Designed in 1948 and first presented at the Museum of Modern Art, it was the first plastic chair to be mass produced. It speaks the creative freedom that Charles and Ray Eames possessed. They weren't hemmed in by what they thought their chairs could be. They allowed themselves to dream of different purposes and looks, and they weren't bound by convention or rules.
The current models looks exactly the same as the originals. They remain unupholstered, in keeping with the Eameses requirement that materials be expressed honestly and unselfconsciously. In fact, these were the first one-piece plastic chairs to be left uncovered. The base of the chair in this model is made of wire. the wire criss-crosses, mimicking the Eiffel tower's construction, but it's different and more simple than that.
See the entire Molded Plastic Chair Collection.
What's To Like:
The Eames molded plastic chairs are as beloved today as when they were first introduced in 1948. Whether being used in large spaces like auditoriums or cafeterias, or on their own in elegant homes, libraries, and conference rooms, these chairs unite enduring form and quality construction in a comfortable, durable seat. Charles and Ray Eames adapted molding techniques developed during World War II to mass produce this classic design. These molded plastic armchairs are true to the originals and are fully authentic, with updated materials to meet environmental requirements. Their enduring forms and quality construction make them comfortable, durable performers.
What's Not to Like:
If we're being picky, it is possible that those who are taller will find that the back of the chair doesn't provide enough support, and can end up being a bit uncomfortable. If you're not tall, this shouldn't be a concern.
The Bottom Line:
This is an unusual design for a chair, but it works beautifully. That's one of the hallmarks of a great Eames design. They are able to take something that shouldn't work, or that hasn't worked before (a one-piece plastic shell, wire base, etc.) and they make it so well, make it so beautifully, that you can't believe no one else thought of it before. They furniture they made has what they called "way-it-should-be-ness." The Eames Molded Plastic Armchair is absolutely chock full of way-it-should-be-ness.
- 31.5" h x 25" w x 24" d
- Seat height: 16.25"
- Arm height: 26"
- Single-piece Recyclable polypropylene shell with waterfall edges and molded back, seat and arms
- For extended comfort, the shell is connected to the base by rubber shock mounts
- The shell is dyed throughout so colors remain vibrant even after years of hard use
- The standard glide is also available with felt to protect hard-surface floors
The Herman Miller Eames Molded Plastic Armchair is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: DAR.
The most creative and intricate base available for these chairs is the wire base, often called the Eiffel base after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The reason it's called that is obvious when you see the chair; the legs taper upwards until they join near the seat, then expand back out. In between the legs of the chairs wire designs criss-cross and join together. While the look is certainly not a copy of the Eiffel tower, the associations between the towers of the legs and the connecting wires are clear.
Like the Eiffel Tower, this particular base is notable mainly for the way it looks and not for its function. It's clearly a monument to design, creativity, and re-imagined modes of support, in the same way that the tower is a monument to architecture, creative freedom and a new century. This model of the chair is more expressive than the four legged version, more eye-catching and beautiful. While it has all the ganging and stacking capabilities that the four legged version has, it's not reserved, and is therefore not as perfectly suited to the task of filling auditoriums and schools. This is a more stylish chair and if often fits better in more stylish locales, like the home and the office. This is the type of chair you could use at a desk, at a kitchen table, or in the living room. It's beautiful, bold and fun, and the base is a big reason that feeling exudes from the chair. The wire base, the Eiffel base, is the most showy and intricate of the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs, and it looks absolutely beautiful.
Read more about the Plastic Chair Collection's Design.
About the Designer
Charles and Ray Eames are perhaps the most celebrated designers of the 20th century. Married in 1941, the Eames duo are responsible for some of the most critically acclaimed furniture designs of the modern era. Amongst their most famous designs are the molded plastic chair group and the aluminum chair group. Although they are most often remembered today for their furniture designs with partner Herman Miller, the Eameses engaged in artistic expression across a broad range of mediums- including architecture and filmmaking.
Read the entire design story behind the Molded Plastic Chairs.
About the Manufacturer
Herman Miller Authorized Retailer
Herman Miller is an industry leader in the integration of cutting edge technology to furniture and other household items to make everyday life more comfortable, convenient, and stylish. Herman Miller stands out at the forefront of such fields as ergonomic technologies, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, and customizable furniture items.
In addition to producing some of the most outstanding office furniture in the world, Herman Miller has also taken on the responsibility of manufacturing some of the most celebrated furniture designs by some of the world's most famous designs. These "modern classics" include works by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Isamu Noguchi. Herman Miller celebrates these famous mid-century designers' works through its extraordinarily precise manufacturing techniques and industry-leading green production processes.
Herman Miller is a global company with operations, sales offices, dealers, and licensees in more than 40 countries in North America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, serving customers virtually anywhere in the world. Herman Miller is headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, while manufacturing facilities are located in the U.S., China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Materials & Measurements
Single-piece shell with waterfall edges and molded back, seat and arms.
Overall: 31.5" h x 25" w x 24" d
Seat height: 17.875"
Arm height: 26"
See the Molded Plastic Chair Colors page for a better look at available color options.
The original chairs were made of fiberglass-infused plastic. Herman Miller now uses a more ecologically supportable material, recyclable polypropylene, for the shells.
For more information, see the Molded Plastic Chairs' full environmental summary