public and look beautiful in any home. The Eameses trailblazing use of new materials and technologies, most prominently plywood and plastics, hugely altered the way families furnished their homes in post war America. The iconic Eames Lounge chair 670 was first released on the Arlene Francis Home show in the United States of America in 1956. Immediately following this televised debut, american furniture company Herman Miller launched an advertising campaign that highlighted the adaptability of the chair, this advertising campaign was also organised and designed by Ray Eames who throughout their commercial partnership did all the advertising material herself. This not only lead to fame for the design but also for the designers. The Eames used their groundbreaking advances in technology to create not only highly functional objects but also a piece of art.
The 670 lounge chair was invented with a different model in their minds; they wanted it to look like a catcher’s mitt, As Charles Eames wanted it to have; “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt.” You can see this idea in the use of the soft leather upholstery and the curled forming shapes of the chair back and arms. The chair’s leather upholstery was intended to age and crease with use – this again reinforces that design visual of the catcher’s mitt. The chair has an effortless melding of materials.
No screws or attachments are visible to the eye that would take away from the curling wooden shape. All screws, bolts or attachments were contained inside of the chair, underneath the leather upholstery, to make the chair appear to flow with no joints to ruin the aesthetic quality of the piece. Not only is the lounge chair beautiful but it is also designed to be comfortable; adjustable so as the correct alignment of the spine and distribution of weight is proportioned to fit every user like a glove. In letters that were found after the death of Charles and Ray Eames it is also discussed that the use of wood and leather were a throwback to the old english clubhouse chairs as a symbol of masculinity and aspirations of middle class lifestyles.Regardless of the fact that the Eames chair was first released nearly sixty years ago this beautiful piece of design still appears to feel modern.
It hasn’t dated at all and looks as appealing, fresh and clean as the day it was first released. It is the crowning glory in the Herman Miller catalogue, who now own the rights to the chair after the death of Ray Eames in 1988. The original designs remains exactly the same apart from minor environmental changes; for example, it is now easier to recycle since it is made from a palisander rosewood veneer. Visually though the design remains the same, ageless and beautiful.