Eames Plastic Armchair LAR
The Plastic Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important designs in the history of furniture. Following their initial presentation at the 'Low Cost Furniture Design' competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, the chairs were launched on the market in 1950 in an armchair version (A-shell) and as a simpler side chair (S-shell) – making them the first ever mass-produced chairs made of plastic. With the debut of their Plastic Chairs, Charles and Ray Eames introduced a new furniture typology that has since spread around the globe: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be joined with a variety of different bases. Already in 1950, they presented a series of bases that enabled various sitting positions, including the low-slung LAR (Lounge Height Armchair Rod Base). The LAR seems to have been one of Charles and Ray's favourite designs: it can be spotted in numerous vintage photographs of the legendary Eames House in Pacific Palisades – both indoors and out. This also reveals how lightweight the chair is, and how easily it can be moved around. Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Plastic Chair LAR can also be used in smaller interiors, and the wide choice of colours for the shell, upholstery fabric, and base can be coordinated with diverse styles and settings. The steel wire base, which achieves maximum stability with minimum materials, acquired a charming nickname within just a short time on the market as a result of its unusual form: 'Cat's Cradle' – in reference to the children's string game. Due to the organic shape of this classic armchair, the LAR is a striking solo piece, but it can also be paired with many types of sofas to create an appealing contrast. Especially in the version with full upholstery, the LAR offers long-lasting comfort, making this modestly sized armchair an excellent seating option for any living space.
|Charles & Ray Eames
Charles Eames, born 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and opened his own office together with Charles M. Gray in 1930. In 1935 he founded another architectural firm with Robert T. Walsh. After receiving a fellowship in 1938 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, he moved to Michigan and joined the faculty the following year. In 1940, he and Eero Saarinen won first prize for their joint entry in the competition 'Organic Design in Home Furnishings' organised by the New York Museum of Modern Art. During the same year, Eames became head of the department of industrial design at Cranbrook, and in 1941 he married Ray Kaiser. Ray Eames was born as Bernice Alexandra Kaiser in Sacramento, California, in 1912. She attended Bennett College in Millbrook, New York, and continued her studies in painting under Hans Hofmann through 1937. During this year she exhibited her work in the first exhibition of the American Abstract Artists group at the Riverside Museum in New York. She matriculated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 and married Charles Eames the following year. From 1941 to 1943, Charles and Ray Eames designed and developed stretchers and leg splints made of moulded plywood, and in 1946 they exhibited their experimental moulded plywood furniture at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The Herman Miller Company in Zeeland, Michigan, subsequently began to produce the Eameses' furniture designs. Charles and Ray participated in the 1948 'Low-Cost Furniture' competition at MoMA, and they built the Eames House in 1949 as their own private residence. Around 1955 they began to focus more on their extensive work as photographers and filmmakers, and in 1964 Charles received an honorary doctoral degree from the Pratt Institute in New York. The Eames Office designed the IBM Pavilion for the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York, and the year 1969 offered the opportunity to participate in the exhibition 'Qu'est-ce que le design?' at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 1970-71, Charles was appointed as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. MoMA again presented an exhibition of the Eameses' work, entitled 'Furniture by Charles Eames', in 1973. Charles Eames died in St. Louis in 1978; Ray's death followed in 1988. Charles and Ray Eames have had a profound and lasting influence on Vitra. The company's activity as a furniture manufacturer began in 1957 with the production of their designs. Yet it is not just the products of Charles and Ray Eames that have left their mark on Vitra. Even today, their design philosophy continues to profoundly shape the company's values, orientation and goals.