A major technical achievement

Aluminium Group chairs began as a challenge among some legendary designers. Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard were designing the Columbus, Indiana home of industrialist J. Irwin Miller. They wanted a high-quality seating product for outdoor use and asked Charles and Ray Eames to develop one.

Profile view of a black Eames Aluminum Group mid-back management chair.
Black Eames Aluminum Group lounge chairs and a round Eames occasional table in a residential setting.

Known for their honest use of materials, the Eameses constructed their chairs with cast aluminium and a seat frame that would support a stretched synthetic mesh. The seat-back suspension was a major technical achievement and represented a departure from the concept of the chair as a solid shell.

Those chairs became the Aluminium Group, which Herman Miller began manufacturing in 1958. And while they have been in continuous demand, the line has changed and grown over the years. The original mesh meant for outdoor use was discontinued, along with the 4-star base and painted arms on the early designs.

In 2001, we introduced a new mesh material for the Aluminium Group. Called Cygnus, it is similar to the Pellicle fabric on the Aeron chair in its aeration and translucent qualities. The lounge and side chair models are again available in the 4-star base, a look that is particularly appropriate for the home.

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“Recognising the need is the primary condition for design.”

More about Charles and Ray Eames

Product Designers Ray and Charles Eames

Awards

  • Eames Aluminium Group recognised with ICFF Editors' Choice Award for Best Outdoor Furniture.

    2011
    Eames Aluminum Group recognized with ICFF Editors' Choice Award for Best Outdoor Furniture.