The Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW), also known as the Eames Plywood Lounge Chair and Low Chair Wood, is perhaps the most successful and recognized design from the design team of husband and wife Charles and Ray Eames. The chair was named Best Design of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. Die Zeit justified his judgment by saying, “Eames took technology developed to meet a war need (for rails) and used it to create something elegant, light and comfortable. Much copied but never improved. “LCW, groundbreaking in many ways, introduced molded plywood as a new material for furniture manufacturing. It brought many new possibilities to both designers and manufacturers and changed the world of furniture design forever.
The chair’s history dates back to 1941 when Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, a Finnish-American architect and industrial designer, entered a furniture group made from molded plywood in the Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition to explore the natural world Developing furniture in response to the rapidly changing world. After the competition, Charles and Ray continued experimenting with plywood designs and molding techniques in the guest room of their own apartment. Their discoveries led to an order from the US Navy and the US Air Force to develop rails, stretchers and glider shells. The splints used compound curves to mimic the shape of the human leg. The experience of shaping plywood into compound curves was instrumental in the development of the Lounge Chair Wood. The final design of the LCW came into the spotlight in 1946. The mass-produced, functional, and elegant, yet affordable chair was an instant hit in the post-war United States. It has been in continuous production since the year it was launched and is still available today under the Herman Miller brand.
The high level of comfort of the chair is due to its unique shape, which is adapted to the curvatures of the human body. The shape of the LCW has gained worldwide recognition and has been praised by design critics. The molding process gives the plywood a gently curved, inviting look. The plywood used to manufacture the backrest and seat shell consists of five lightweight veneer panels with hardwood inner layers. The back and legs are made of 8-ply plywood for extra strength. Dry plywood sheets are laid alternately together with those covered with glue. Layer sheets are then pressed into the desired shape. Customers can choose between white ash, ebonized ash, natural cherry, birch, walnut and Santos rosewood veneers. The base of the chair is available in either the plywood or the steel version. The latter consists of welded, chrome-plated bent steel tubes. In both variants, the frame resembles a hyena, with the front legs longer than the back legs. The rubber damper mounts, another item on the couple’s inventions list, are located between the frame, backrest and seat, allowing the chair to adjust to the position of the user. The chair leans back slightly and suggests a pleasant, relaxing feeling. To reach the absolute heights of comfort and relaxation, customers can order their Eames Plywood Lounge Chairs, which are upholstered with a foam that can be upholstered in a variety of different fabrics and supple leathers.
The Eames Lounge Chair Wood was designed to furnish homes for soldiers who returned from the fronts of World War II. He has neither aged nor become banal. It still looks fresh and contemporary.
This piece of furniture is a perfect combination of amazing shape and extraordinary functionality.