A major technical achievement

Aluminum Group chairs began as a challenge among 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 aluminum and a seat frame meant to 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 Aluminum 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 Aluminum Group. Called Cygnus, it is similar to the Aeron Chair’s Pellicle fabric 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.

An Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair upholstered in Cygnus with a black frame.

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

More about Charles and Ray Eames

Product Designers Ray and Charles Eames


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

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