Why the Eames Chair is achingly timeless, even in 2017
There are some design icons which have aged gracefully and look the part today. Take for example British Rail’s InterCity 125 designed by Sir Kenneth Grange which entered service in 1976. Also the anglepoise lamp, again by the same fellow and used in art studios and computer desks around the world. Few examples of furniture design age gracefully. The Eames Chair is a clear exception.
Since the first Eames Chair was created in 1956, Charles and Ray Eames’ design turned a few heads in its day. Resembling the seat of a spaceship or a barber’s chair, the reclining seat is notable for its wooden veneered back and accompanying ottoman. The husband and wife design team were prolific furniture designers between the 1950s and 1970s.
Besides the Eames Chair, by far their most famous piece, other creations include plastic chairs and bar stools. Also coat hooks and coffee tables. Most of their designs were contemporaneous with post-Second World War interior design. That of clean lines, bright colours, and modernist design – as expressed in the 1951 Festival of Britain in London.
Charles and Ray Eames’ iconic chairs grace design museums around the world. It has inspired many replicas, many of which selling in four figure sums (expect to pay up to €5,000 for one with an ottoman). A legendary design? Most definitely.
Steven Cleary Carpentry, 22 February 2017.