The Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW) (also known as Low Chair Wood or Eames Plywood Lounge Chair) is a chair designed by husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames. Designers of some of the most iconic furniture of the twentieth century.
The chair was designed using technology for molding plywood that the Eames developed before and during The Second World War. Before American involvement in the war, Charles and his friend, architect Eero Saarinen, entered a line of furniture into the Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Furniture Competition” in 1940, exploring the natural evolution of furniture in response to the rapidly changing world. Charles and Eero won the competition. However, production of the initially designed chairs was postponed due to production difficulties, and then by the United States entry into WWII.
This interruption proved fortuitous to Charles. He began making molded plywood splints for the U.S. Air Force. The splints were modelled after his own leg and allowed him to hone the technique of molding the plywood into complex curves. The LCW was a result of this experience. Parallel manufacturing techniques, also during World War II, were used by Isidor Zuckermann’s firm in the United Kingdom to manufacture types of aeroplane wings and submarine parts.
Today a LCW chair manufactured under license by Vitra will set you back around £890, cheaper than a submarine.