Charles Eames seems to be entering competitions organized by the New York Museum of Modern Art every now and then. This time, another iconic Modern Classic design was born for the Low-Cost Furniture Design Competition in 1950. The originals were made of fibre-glass plastics. Now, with the advance of material technology, the Eames Plastic Armchairs are now made in polypropylene. Organically shaped and smooth in texture, the Plastic Armchair is absolutely wonderful and comfortable to sit in.
As with other Eames designs, a whole range of plastic armchairs were created. There are mainly 3 groups of plastic chairs being created: the Plastic Armchair, the Plastic Sidechair and the Plastic Rocker. They are further divided into metal and wooden bases. What a neat way to create a whole range of products out of the same mold. The Eames Plastic Chairs are coded as follows:
DAR = Dining Height Armchair R-Wire Base
DAW = Dining Height Armchair Wooden Base
DAX = Dining Height Armchair X-Base
DAL = Dining Height Armchair La Fonda Base
RAR = Rocking Armchair Rod Base
The Plastic Armchair DAW and RAR are the chairs in interest here today. I like this chair for its functionality and comfort. Although the much imitated design looks like the real McCoy, the replicas are nowhere near in comfort compared to those produced by Vitra. The replica plastics seats are rough in texture whereas the Vitra originals are smooth to touch and comfortable to sit in. It was this comfort in an original Vitra that got me interested in the Plastic Armchair.
The 50 year old novelty of the RAR rocking chair is an interesting concept. Having a wooden rocker base turns this dining chair instantly into an accent chair which looks and feels perfectly at home as as a focus piece and the best part is, it costs almost the same as the Dining Armchair DAW base!
<Update> Recently, an idea came upon me and I found a perfect place for the RAR and a perfect use – in the future Kid’s Room! Why would I want to put it there, I heard some ask? In the baby’s early childhood, he/she would require a lot of pacifying and it will be a tough job for the mother, my wife. Hence, she, or maybe myself when I am taking care of our future baby, would need to be comfortable and be able to put the baby to sleep. What is better than a rocking chair? The Eames RAR would be the perfect choice! Even when the kid grow up, he/she would definitely enjoy rocking away in the Eames RAR. Just look at the picture below to understand my point. 🙂
Besides being attracted to the RAR’s innovative transformation of a Dining Chair into an Accent Chair, I was also particularly interested in the DAW based Plastic Armchair as well. Why a DAW base? Well, the answer is straight forward, it matches my colour palette and my plan to find 2 more white chairs for the Dining Table to complement my 2 white Kartell Masters Chair. I had bought 2 pieces of Kartell Masters Chair in white during Space’s private sale a couple of months earlier, at a very good price.
To match a Kartell Masters Chair can be a simple or complex affair. First, it needs to have 4 legs to match the Kartell Masters Chair. Legless Chairs such as the Panton Chairs by Vernon Panton or Tulip Chairs by Eero Saarinen simple couldn’t fit in. The reason I chose the Eames Plastic Armchair is due to is similar outline to the Tulip Chair (one of the silhouettes of the 3 iconic chairs that the Kartell Masters Chairs was paying tribute to). I did not choose a Tulip Chair for the simple reason that it has a legless design. Another reason for choosing the the Eames Plastic Armchair is because it belongs to the same family of design of the Eames Plastic Chairs. The Eames Plastic Side Chair is again, the other iconic chair that the Masters Chair is paying tribute to. How cool is that to find a 2-in-1 chair to match with the Masters Chair that is essentially a 3-in-1 design? 🙂
I had not gotten these chairs yet although I am extremely tempted to get them during my last visit to Space’s Mid-Year Sale. It was going for 25% less and its comfort makes it really difficult to resist. Eventually, my rationale took over as space is a constraint for me now since I will be moving back to staying with my parents while I wait for the right time to re-enter the property market to look for my new home. For now, the Eames Plastic Armchair will have to wait.