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Eames Molded Plastic Chairs


Eames Molded Plastic Chairs

Charles and Ray Eames realized their first successful, single-shell form in 1950 with the Molded Fiberglass Chairs. However, when the environmental risks associated with fiberglass production became more widely understood, the decision was made to discontinue fiberglass shell production until a more suitable material could be found. In 2004, Herman Miller reintroduced the Molded Plastic Chair in polypropylene. In addition to being 100 percent recyclable, the polypropylene shell chair's subtle matte texture offers a soft tactility as well as notable durability.

The chairs are available in both the arm and side chair formats in five archival colors, eight new colors, and with upholstery. They can be configured with a choice of wire, dowel leg, stacking, rocker, and 4-leg bases. An array of trim, finely tailored Hopsak fabrics designed by Alexander Girard, Herman Miller’s Textile Director from 1952 to 1973, round out the collection of shell customization options, fully restoring the integrity of the original 1953 shell chair offerings. All chairs can be recycled through the Herman Miller Take Back Program.

Design Story

For Every Need
Charles Eames famously said, “The role of the designer is that of a very
good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” With the molded
plastic, fiberglass, and wood shell chairs—as well as the wire chair—the
Eames have created a universal response to what everyone wants from a
chair: a simple, gracious form that fits any body and every place.

In Every Way
Borne out of Charles’ and Eero Saarinen’s early investigations molding
plywood at Cranbrook Academy in 1939, and continued with Ray at the
Eames studio in Venice, California, the molded chair is exemplary of the
Eames iterative process and their desire to make “the best for the most
for the least.” With each new form, finish, and configuration, the Eames
continued to push the boundaries of what the shell chair could be: after
experimenting with single-form plywood and stamped metal, they turned
to fiberglass and experimented with bent wire; when fiberglass production
proved unhealthy for the environment, the decision was made to switch
production to a safer plastic; and now, with advancements in safe
fiberglass composition and dynamic veneer technologies, the evolution
continues with the Molded Fiberglass and Molded Wood Chairs.

For Everyone
The Eames Shell Chair was designed on the principle of adaptability,
offering innumerable configurations to serve a wide variety of
applications and environments. It’s what makes the chair a classic
worthy of museum collections—and living rooms, Laundromats,
lobbies, and cafés. It’s what makes it a great first piece of furniture to
buy in your twenties, that’s still worthy and relevant enough to
hand down to your children 20 years later. A diverse selection of shell,
base, color, and finish options enable you to create your perfect chair.
Just like every person, every chair has a story.

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