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Craigslist Finds: Weekend of July 27, 19 Edition (Chairs! Chairs! Chairs!)

I will be the first to admit these posts have not been coming as frequently as I did like. With summer activities, errands, the normal adult blah blah blah, posting has become harder to get to this year for sure. But something that has also made it difficult is the picking on ye olde list of Craig have NOT been that great. So I have actually intended far more entries than I have delivered BECAUSE the stuff out there just was not that great. Thankfully, at LONG LAST this weekend had a bumper crop of finds that we could sink out teeth into! Well, me mostly, Keith has been at work on a table so there will be a post coming in that soon enough!

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The Eames focused first on usability in their designs.

The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman, officially titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671), were released in 1956 after years of development by designers Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. It was the first chair the Eames designed for a high-end market. These furnishings are made of molded plywood and leather. Examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York s Museum of Modern Art.

In addition to the style, the Eames Lounge Chair is very comfortable, a combination not always found in high design. The chair has become iconic with Modern style design although when it was first made Ray Eames remarked in a letter to Charles that the chair looked “comfortable and un-designy”.

Both the chair and ottoman are hand-assembled with great attention paid to the details. Shells are 7-ply veneers. Cushions are individually upholstered and replaceable; back cushions are interchangeable. The back braces and bases—of both the chair and ottoman—are die-cast aluminum. The chair base has a built-in swivel mechanism. Shock mounts are resilient natural rubber. Stainless steel glides are adjustable.  The new MCL Leather provides much of the softness and “sink-into-it-iveness” of the original, along with durability and color-fastness. The oiled finishes, while requiring periodic maintenance, produce the rich, lustrous look of the original veneers.

The Eames Chair – dissertation

(minus references + bibliography)

“The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman:  What part does the choice of luxury materials play in its continued success?”

Keywords:  Modernism, materials, craftsmanship, industrialisation, design


This article studies the Modernist influences that played a part in the design of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman and how movements such as the Arts and Crafts and the Bauhaus influenced the decision to use traditional, luxury materials in the design. Through a retrospective look at the utilitarian origins of the chair, it is put into the context of the industrialisation of the Post-War world, where new technologies were beginning to be embraced, but also where people looked to the comfort and familiarity that can be found in tradition. Charles and Ray Eames s socialist ideals are put under scrutiny by examining the conflicts of interest faced when designing a luxury commodity.

Arguments are given as to why the material choices were made, and how they can be justified by the promise of design longevity. We can therefore look at the chair as a model of good design and learn from the way appropriate, long-lasting materials were used, and apply this to contemporary design. This article shows how the Lounge Chair and Ottoman exemplified the notion of truth to materials’, and why this is such an important aspect of furniture design, and design in the wider sense.

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