The Plastic Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames are among the most important designs in the history of furniture.
The LAR seems to have been one of Charles and Rays 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: Cats Cradle – in reference to the childrens 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.
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.