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Vitra Eames chairs are real design icons and in 2018 they will turn 70 years old!
Charles e Ray Eames, the most famous couple of design, developed them in 1948 to enter the Museum of Modern Art’s “International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design”. Those were years they were looking for functional and economic solutions in the furniture industry. The Eames created what became the first plastic chairs in the history: initially, the seat was made by stamped metal shell but it was an expensive solution. So the Eames used fiberglass which had never been used for furniture in this way!
This allowed a fast and economical industrial production and a product that was absolutely functional but also beautiful. They designed more than one shell, with or without armrests, different type of legs (the metal ones that allowed to stack the chairs made their fortune in public spaces), colors and materials.
Until the ’90s, the production continued in fiberglass, and then Vitra found the way to make them with new, lighter, more economical, durable and more environmentally friendly material: since 1998 the Eames chairs are made of polypropylene.
In the occasion of the important exhibition dedicated to the work of Charles and Ray Eames organized at Vitra Campus, two pop-up stores opened in Zurich and Amsterdam, entirely dedicated to the customization of the Eames chair.
But you don’t need to go far: on the Vitra website there is a 3D configurator that allows you to have fun drawing your own Eames chair. You can choose every single detail between over than 100,000 combinations: you can choose the plastic shell shape, the base, seat or full upholstery, colors and materials of every single detail! You’re gonna have a lot of fun! And when you’re done you can send it via e-mail or share your own design on social networks or… buy it!
Watch the video I made customizing my plastic chair Eames: what color will I ever choose?!