Designed by Charles and Ray Eames

Eames Wire Chairs

Eames Wire side chair with a wire base, viewed from a 45-degree angle.
 

Integrity in form, function and context

Eames Wire side chair with a wire base, viewed from a 45-degree angle.

Eames Wire Chairs

Perhaps more than any design in their oeuvre, the shell chair represents the Eames’ disinterest in superficial aesthetics and their agnostic approach to material. What mattered most to them was the integrity of the form, function and context – or as Charles often said: “The best for the most for the least.” It’s this attitude that pushed them to explore the shell chair in a variety of finishes, materials and base configurations.

 

The Eames Wire Chair is a unique iteration in the shell chair’s continuous evolution. In the 1950s, the Eames Office started experimenting in bent and welded wire. Inspired by trays, dress forms and baskets, the team developed a number of pieces, including the wire version of the single-shell form. The Eames Wire Chair comes with a wire base and an optional full-piece leather seat pad or crisscross, two-piece “bikini” pad; both versions are available in a variety of colours.

Close-up of the optional two-piece, bikini-style seat pad on an Eames Wire side chair.

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 moulded plastic, fibreglass and wood shell chairs, as well as the wire chair, Charles and Ray Eames created a universal response to what everyone wants from a chair: a simple, gracious form that fits any body and every place.

A poster showing photos of various mid-century modern furniture pieces.
Ray and Charles Eames, designers of the Eames Molded Wood Stool.

In every way

Born out of Charles Eames’ and Eero Saarinen’s early investigations into the moulding of plywood at Cranbrook Academy, Michigan, in 1939, and continued with Ray at the Eames studio in Venice, California, the moulded chair is a prime example 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 fibreglass and experimented with bent wire; when fibreglass production proved unhealthy for the environment, the decision was made to switch production to a safer plastic; and now, with advancements in safe fibreglass composition and dynamic veneer technologies, the evolution continues with the Moulded Fibreglass and Moulded 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, as well as living rooms, laundrettes, lobbies and cafés. It’s also 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, colour and finish options enable you to create your perfect chair. Just like every person, every chair has a story.

Historical images of eight chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames.

The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.

More about Charles & Ray Eames

Product Designers Ray and Charles Eames