Mark

Tilt-Back Side Chair
USA, c. 1944
Charles Eames, Ray Eames

Evans Products Co.
Molded plywood, metal rod, rubber shockmounts, and rubber glides
25³⁄₄ x 20 x 29"



Recognizing the need, Charles Eames said, is the primary condition for design. Early in their careers together, Charles and Ray identified the need for affordable, yet high-quality furniture for the average consumer—furniture that could serve a variety of uses. For forty years the Eameses experimented with ways to meet this challenge, designing flexibility into their compact storage units and collapsible sofas for the home; seating for stadiums, airports, and schools; and chairs for virtually anywhere. Their chairs were designed for Herman Miller in four materials—molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent and welded wire mesh, and cast aluminum. The conceptual backbone of this diverse work was the search for seat and back forms that comfortably support the human body, using three dimensionally shaped surfaces or flexible materials instead of cushioned upholstery. An ethos of functionalism informed all of their furniture designs. “What works is better than what looks good,” Ray said. “The looks good can change, but what works, works.” —Library of Congress





(Photo: MoMA)