Eames Plastic Armchair RE RAR
Charles & Ray Eames, 1950
Now in recycled post-consumer plastic
Due to the composition of the recycled materials, the different colour versions of the seat shells are interspersed with tiny specks of pigment. Three colour variants have also been updated in connection with this changeover:
- Emerald RE replaces green
- Citron RE replaces sunlight
- Cotton white RE replaces white
Alongside the new variant 'cotton white (RE)', the existing version 'white' is scheduled to remain available until December 2024.
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- Seat shell: dyed-through, recycled polypropylene, 100% recyclable. All models are available with a seat cushion (screwed to the seat shell) or full upholstery. The fully upholstered version has moulded polyurethane foam padding covered in fabric, attached to the shell with a welted edge. Different shell and upholstery colours and various bases provide a multitude of possible combinations.
- Note: due to the composition of the recycled material, the seat shell colours exhibit very subtle specks of pigment.
- Options: the Eames Plastic Chair RE is available as a visitor chair, dining chair, rocking chair, swivel chair or in stacking versions and with ganging brackets for row seating. Beam-mounted shells are suited for use in waiting areas.
- Base: wire base with cross struts, chrome-plated or powder-coated finish, on solid maple runners. (RAR = Rocking Armchair Rod Base)
- Origin of wood: maple (Acer platanoides) from Western Europe and/or Poland.
Eames Plastic Chairs RE
'Getting the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least': with these words, Charles and Ray Eames described one of their main goals as furniture designers. None of their other designs come as close to achieving this ideal as the Plastic Chairs. For years, the designer couple explored the fundamental idea of a one-piece seat shell moulded to fit the contours of the human body. After experiments with plywood and sheet aluminium in the 1940s produced unsatisfactory results, their search for alternative materials led them to glass-fibre reinforced polyester resin. The Eameses recognised and fully exploited the advantages of the material: mouldability, rigidity, pleasant tactile qualities, suitability for industrial manufacturing methods. With this material, which was previously unknown in the furniture industry, they successfully developed the shell designs for serial production. After their debut at the 'Low-Cost Furniture Design' competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, the Plastic Armchair (A-shell) and Plastic Side Chair (S-shell) were launched on the market in 1950 as the very first mass-produced plastic chairs in the history of furniture. The Eames Plastic Chairs also introduced a new furniture typology that has since become widespread: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be joined with a variety of different bases to serve diverse purposes. As early as 1950, Charles and Ray Eames presented a series of bases that enabled various sitting positions. Over the years and in ongoing consultation with the Eames family, Vitra has introduced more sustainable materials for the seat shells of the Eames Shell Chairs. As of 2024 the shells of the Eames Plastic Chairs are now made of recycled plastic and the chair family is known as Eames Plastic Chair RE. The high-quality recycled material stems from household recycling, particularly used packaging, obtained through the 'Yellow Bag' (Gelber Sack) collection programme in Germany. Utilising this raw material instead of petroleum-based primary plastics generates fewer climate-damaging emissions, with a significant reduction in primary energy consumption. Due to the composition of the recycled material, the different colours are interspersed with tiny specks of pigment. The colour white has been replaced by cotton white RE, however the original white polypropylene version is scheduled to remain available until December 2024. Like the seat shells of Eames Plastic RE, it is 100% recyclable at the end of its product life.
Charles & Ray Eames
Charles and Ray Eames are counted among the most important figures of twentieth-century design. Their work spans the fields of furniture design, filmmaking, photography and exhibition design. Vitra is the sole authorised manufacturer of Eames products for Europe and the Middle East. When you own an Eames product made by Vitra, you know it is an original.