Eames Molded Plywood Chair

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The chair that would earn Charles and Ray Eames the accolade of Best Design of the 20th Century from Time Magazine stemmed from the couple's wood-molding experiments in the early 1940s. Using their "Kazam! Machine," they produced a molded plywood splint modeled after the human leg. This led to a commission from the U.S. Navy to develop plywood splints, stretchers, and glider shells. After World War II, the Eameses used the same technology to create the Molded Plywood Chair or LCW—Lounge Chair Wood. Its debut in 1946 marked a milestone in design history: with its low-slung seat and ergonomic curves, it differed from the heavy, unwieldy furniture of the time. The designers used separate panels for the back and seat to create a lightweight piece with an elegant visual profile. Available in multiple base finishes and upholstery options, the Molded Plywood Chair remains an instantly recognizable and highly coveted icon. 

Photo: Grant Harder

Written by Jenny Xie / Dwell

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