Eames Fiberglass Chair From Vitra
As huge fans of the work of Charles & Ray Eames, we're incredibly excited to announce that the original Eames Fiberglass Chair is being put into production by Vitra and will be available to purchase online at Utility. A true, official original, the Eames Plastic Chair will be available to purchase alongside the classic Eames Plastic Chair in 6 colours.
The collection is now available to order online at Utility.
History of the Eames Fiberglass Chair
The year was 1948 and as part of the "International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design) design duo Charles & Ray Eames entered their first iteration of the Eames Chair. The steel shell was moulded to fit the contours of the human body and included the concept for a variety of base options. The New York Museum of Modern Art awarded the Eames' second prize but their shell proved too complex and expensive to achieve successful mass production. Not ready to give up, Charles & Ray Eames went about finding suitable alternative materials.
The couple's search eventually led them to glass-fibre reinforced polyester resin, which until then had been primarily restricted to military applications such as aircraft radomes and cockpit covers. The couple recognised and fully utilised the advantages of fibreglass: it's tensile strength, rigidity and suitability for industrial manufacturing methods. With this material they successfully developed the moulded seat shells for mass production: the Eames Fiberglass Chair was born. Its organically shaped, one-piece shell proved to be a much-admired innovation at a time when chairs typically consisted of a seat and backrest. Fibreglass offered the added advantage of pleasant tactile qualities and a perfectly moulded form for optimal comfort.
The chairs themselves need little introduction these days - the striking series of bases and combination of revolutionary seat shells were innovative at the time and have brought the chair collection design icon status. The Eames Fiberglass Chair is instantly recognisable (and widely copied) today.
Up until the late 1940's fiberglass had only really existed in colourless versions but Charles & Ray Eames attached great importance to the use of colour. They prototyped countless colour hues in an effort to create the colours that they felt best accentuated the organic shape of their designs. The first colours developed were Greige (a mix of grey and beige) and Elephant Hide Grey, which was is what Charles came up with after saying "What I really want is a black with feeling". Sea foam green, yellow and red shortly followed in the early days of production.
The Fiberglass Chairs were launched on the market in 1950, introducing a new furniture typology that has since become widespread: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be combined with a variety of bases to serve different purposes. In response to the enormous popularity of the chair, the choice of bases and colours was subsequently expanded. Over the course of the following decade, the Fiberglass Chairs became one of the best known furniture designs of the twentieth century.
Vitra manufactures the Eames Fiberglass Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames in six of the original colours. The versions with a polypropylene shell – the Eames Plastic Chairs– also remain available. Together the two chair groups form an extensive family, enabling countless variations of the classic Eames design, with a suitable version for almost every taste and purpose.
Shop the Eames Fiberglass Chair collection here today.