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Eames Molded Wood Side Chair: Reinventing a Classic at NeoCon 2013

June 10, 2013

The Herman Miller Inc. vision for the Living Office emphasizes people’s need for comfort, utility, and beauty in the new landscape of work. New and existing designs from the Herman Miller Collection complement today’s office environments, with versatility and timeless appeal that bring familiarity, warmth and style to commercial spaces. The Eames Molded Wood side chair is among the latest Collection designs and will be featured at NeoCon 2013, at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, June 10-12.

For the first time this iconic form is being produced in molded wood, in a range of veneer and base options to suit any contemporary interior.  Designed by Charles and Ray Eames and introduced by Herman Miller in 1950, the original plastic chair line was first explored as shells stamped in steel, before successfully mass producing the designs in molded plastic.  Later the side chair was revisited in wire. Throughout their careers, the Eames were keenly interested in exploring new technologies and materials, including their earlier pioneering work in molded plywood, and used that material in several of their best known designs.  But the technology limitations of their day prevented the designers from producing the plastic side chair form in molded wood; the curves were simply too dramatic and complex.   

Now, the latest advances in 3-D veneer technology give the wood veneer the extra flexibility it needs to be molded into the complex curves of a single shell.  Embracing the same organic shapes and sleek lines of the Eameses’ classic work, it celebrates the designers’ appreciation of honest materials. 

In reviewing the prototypes for this new material approach, both Herman Miller and the Eames heirs agreed that Charles and Ray would have readily approved of this progression in their design. The new Molded Wood Side Chair also aligns beautifully with the mission and strategy of the Herman Miller Collection, advancing classic design with today’s technological capabilities in ways that honor and extend the original ideas.

Available in santos palisander, white ash and walnut woods, with wire (or “Eiffel Tower”), dowel leg and 4-leg base options, the chair is immediately orderable by the trade through Herman Miller’s commercial showrooms and dealers. 

About The Herman Miller Collection
In 1948, George Nelson created the first Herman Miller Collection, with the goal of "a permanent collection designed to meet fully the requirements for modern living.”  He understood that the Collection would evolve as human behavior changed and new materials and manufacturing technologies emerged. Today’s modern living embraces the blending of life and work, with greater appreciation for contemporary design and mobile and ubiquitous technologies offering new freedom of choice in where and how people express their lifestyles and pursue their professions. The Herman Miller Collection welcomes and enriches this new era, as we endeavor to realize Nelson’s vision for the modern home, office, and public spaces. More information at www.hermanmiller.com/collection

About Herman Miller
Herman Miller’s inspiring designs, inventive technologies and strategic services help people do great things and organizations to perform at their best. Its award-winning products generated more than $1.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. A past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have helped establish Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2012, Herman Miller again received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was named among the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers by Industry Week.  Herman Miller is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

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