About Eames Chairs
American husband and wife team Charles Ormond Eames, Jr. and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Eames were hugely celebrated 20th century designers active in the fields of architecture and home furnishings. They are known for several major contributions to both the practice and philosophy of design, pioneering the use of fibreglass, plastic resin and wire mesh in the production of chairs.
Of all their designs, the combined Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman are perhaps the most perennial and widely recognised, and they remain in production to this day. Constructed of moulded plywood and leather upholstery, these furniture items were designed for the Herman Miller furniture company over a period of several years and released in 1956.
Uniquely out of step with the Eames' aim to develop affordable furniture designs for mass production, the Lounge Chair continues to be marketed as a high-end luxury item, and was inspired by the opulent English club chair, or fauteuil confortable. It was also the first of their designs to utilise plywood, which is moulded under heat and pressure into three curved shells of five layers each and covered by a veneer of Brazilian rosewood, forming the headrest, backrest and seat. The back and headrest are essentially identical in size and shape, as are the seat and Ottoman, giving the finished piece a contemporary segmented feel. The whole thing is held securely together by aluminium spines and hard plastic washers (or 'shock mounts') allowing for a comfortable degree of flex from its fixed reclining position. The chair also swivels on an aluminium base.
Another of the designers' chairs making use of similar technologies is the Lounge Chair Wood, which is much lower and typically lacks upholstery. Models with rosewood, walnut, cherry, lacquer and chemically treated white ash veneers remain in production.