History of Eames Chair | Eames Lounge Chair

When is the last time you stepped back and took the time to truly admire the art of furniture? Or the art and history of Eames chair? Just like any framed artwork, furniture designs are also thought and brainstormed about before finalizing the selling design. An original Eames chair is not your everyday chair that the brand comes up with impulsive designs in a meeting.

The success story behind the brand of furniture is not a sudden one. This written piece unfolds a portion of the life story of the creator behind the ever-living designs.

History of Eames Chair | About The Creators

We need to first know the people behind the designs of Eames chairs to understand the journey and history behind it. Charles and Ray Eames were a couple who got married in June of 1941. Out of the two, Charles was an architect while Ray was a painter. Makes you think “no wonder why the pieces are so unique,” and we agree. It was a marriage between two artists who let us borrow a piece of their creative glass that they saw the world through.

The more you read about Charles’ life, the more you can understand where the drive and passion for Eames design came from.  He was gifted with the workings and visuals of an artist but also put his skills to practice.

In college, he took part in acts as well as film training. Later he participated in Cranbrook faculty Exhibition in 1939 and then in Moscow World’s Fair, with a film about the variance in lands of the world. His narration in the latter film reflected on how he found a human connection in everything, no matter where they abide. A more interesting matter is they were still designing chairs while doing the various named side projects.

Their grandson, Eames Demetrios, mentioned in a 2009 TED talk that the couple was always trying various designs. They believed that they should be able to expect what the consumer’s requirements are. Through trial and error, they upgraded from the vastly used X-base to a new and improved H-base for their modern chairs. Charles and Ray became more familiar with manufacturing once they designed the molded plywood splint.

Behind the Designing Process

This leads us to the designing process behind Charles and Ray Eames chairs. Charles’ priority of satisfying customer needs shows in the quote on the Eames office website, written in big font, “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” His concern was not riding the modern wave of fashion, rather solving what the present designs lacked and fulfilling what was needed.

The irony is that although the Eames chairs are known for their unique designs, Charles and Ray were not too concerned with how the chair looks but rather how the chair works. They did not limit their furniture to any certain group of people. The hattrick of advantages that the Eames’s provided, efficiency, availability, and delight, made their chairs desirable for people of all classes.

With Charles’ natural artistic instinct, the office captured the steps and procedures of furniture building through photography. This resulted in creating a visual map that served the team to work flawlessly over time, even when met with changes and given the hint of just a small idea.

Charles’ willingness of giving people what they need can be seen when reading about the history of the Eames lounge chair.

The Take-Off

The very first Eames chair in the market was produced by the Herman Miller company, in 1956. It was the Eames Lounge Chair, the very chair inspired by the chair that friend and director, Billy Wilder, would take naps in during his breaks while filming. With their prior knowledge of how to work with plywood, they bettered the chair and smoothed the curves to come up with something astonishing. The admiration seems to be shared since a set of the Eames lounge chair and ottoman still resides in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

When the release happened, the chair set was thought to be different from the track that Charles and Ray Eames chairs were previously on. On top of that, with the era of minimalist styled furniture, the lounge chair seemed out of place. Charles, upon receiving complaints, was persistent in giving the people what was missing in the uppity market of chairs, a seat to relax in.

When looking at how the production process of the lounge chair after so many years is still similar, it makes you wonder how advanced the thinking of Charles and Ray Eames had to be.


How much does an original Eames chair cost?

This depends on what piece you are looking for. The price can go up to hundreds of US dollars. You can visit their official Eames Office website at “eamesoffice.com/shop” to check the prices of not just chairs but all their other items.

How long will my Eames chair last?

With the excellent quality and attention to detail that the Eames staff provides, the chairs usually last about 20 to 30 years. That is a long life if you compare the span to any other furniture life.

Can I use an Eames chair in my office?

Why yes you can! There are so many designs and variations to choose from, with each made to serve just the right purpose. With the above-written piece, you may already know what Charles and Ray Eames prioritized. The office chairs from Eames furniture not only provide support in the right areas but possess a visual aesthetic to keep your confidence boosted.

Final Verdict

We hope that this written piece changes the way you see an Eames chair. Charles and Ray Eames focused on things that the average designers did not. With their motto of understanding a customer’s expectations, they modeled and re-made numerous designs intending to provide a missing component in the current furniture industry. Comfort.