Eames Wire Chairs

Eames Wire Chairs

Perhaps more than any design in their oeuvre, the Shell Chair represents the Eameses’ 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 concept of a single 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 seat pad or crisscross, two-piece leather “bikini” pad.

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.