Did you know… WWII led Eames to his iconic Plywood Chair?
The Lounge Chair Wood was the Eames breakthrough moment, and the springboard for a range of furniture that would express the optimism of the post-war world. But this work evolved directly from their experience during wartime.
The Eames began to explore the possibilities of plywood. Bending it was relatively simple. Moulding it, in three dimensions, like rubber, and on a mass scale, was something else.
The demands of war provided the germ of an answer when he was asked to design a leg splint in 1942. The Eames’ splint design was a compromise, but even if the curves were not perfect, more than 150,000 were made for the US Navy.
From leg splints, the Eames turned to seats for gliders and aircraft parts, refining and perfecting their moulding techniques. The payoff came in 1945 with the Lounge Chair Wood, a ”swords into ploughshares” moment, and a modest but unmistakable signal that the war was finally over.