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How the Eames Chair and Ottoman are manufactured
June 5, 2011 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Creation process of the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Putting together previous coverage by Treehugger and Vitra, Belgian standardista/Web designer Veerle Pieters offers a step-by-step breakdown, designed in her characteristically beautiful and feminine style, of how the iconic Eames chair and ottoman are constructed. Spoiler alert: It involves a lot of bent plywood.
posted by joeclark (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is "characteristically feminine" about a few paragraphs of text interspersed around photos and video?
posted by egypturnash at 12:04 PM on June 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


May I suggest looking at the colour scheme and Veerle’s previous work? Unless you just enjoy raising your hackles, a perennial MeFi indulgence.
posted by joeclark at 12:15 PM on June 5, 2011


I'm unclear about what is feminine about grey backgrounds and good typography. Or indeed about Veerle's body of work.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:33 PM on June 5, 2011


Occasional use of pink?
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:38 PM on June 5, 2011


What is feminine about it? Spoiler, it involves bent plywood.
posted by found missing at 12:41 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The author's purported femininity aside, I never knew you could visit Vitra, personally select wood and leather colors, then watch your own Eames chair being built... As a dedicated Design Geek, Mid-century Modern Chair Division, I'm checking on discount flights to Munich right now...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Author’s writer’s purported attested femininitye style, One Monkey’s Uncle.
posted by joeclark at 1:22 PM on June 5, 2011


Hahaha, OneMonkeysUncle , I had the same thought. While I've admired that chair since I was young, it seems the older I get, the more I need to get one at some point. It's just way out of my price-range, even if it is a good investment (as in, it's a chair that lives a lifetime and then some). I still move too much.
posted by dabitch at 1:22 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool, thanks!

As an architectural designer I can get a 50% discount on furniture like this, but as much as I love this chair, I'll never get one: I'm short and the seat pan is long and it is not comfortable. Sadness.
posted by Specklet at 1:31 PM on June 5, 2011


What is feminine about it? Spoiler, it involves bent plywood.

Rawwr.
posted by chillmost at 1:47 PM on June 5, 2011


Yeah, using the adjective "feminine" to describe a woman's writing might not have been quite the best choice, given the very recent discussion about VS Naipauls' remarks.
posted by jokeefe at 2:01 PM on June 5, 2011


The interesting thing about this chair is that it is almost a hack, in the sense of an elegant repurposing of materials in an unusual way. The bent plywood gives it enormous strength, and the design cleverly uses the same jig for all the bending. It requires special tooling, but a minimal amount and it allows you to avoid a lot of tooling that would be taken for granted in a more normal design. I doubt I would ever be tempted to buy one of these chairs but I might be tempted to take a stab at making one.
posted by localroger at 2:06 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I once scored one of the bent plywood chairs and ottomans from the trash in an art community, but before I got it home some parking lot attendants absconded with it to use outdoors. I very nearly got into a fistfight with those fuckers over that chair.

It was in fairly good condition, too. It needed re-upholstering, but the wood and frame were in decent if well-worn condition.
posted by loquacious at 2:21 PM on June 5, 2011


Nobody used “the adjective ‘feminine’ to describe a woman’s writing.” Please try again, JOKeefe. Unless you just like being outraged for no reason, which I suspect is what’s really happening here. Then again, I’m just going by what you actually wrote.

Also, what are “Naipauls” and how can I order half a gross of them?
posted by joeclark at 2:42 PM on June 5, 2011


A "Naipauls" is someone who managed to both win a Nobel and be a ridiculous idiot.
posted by Medieval Maven at 3:14 PM on June 5, 2011


My dad got one, oh, 25 years ago. We're big folk, none of us under 6 feet tall or 225 pounds, and the chair is wonderfully comfortable.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:48 PM on June 5, 2011


For those into furniture construction porn, I have your orgasm right here.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:29 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dad got one, oh, 25 years ago. We're big folk, none of us under 6 feet tall or 225 pounds, and the chair is wonderfully comfortable.

Damnit, now I want one even more than I did before.

Unfortunately, given my income, this has to remain in the "someday" file.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:03 PM on June 5, 2011


Wait until you see a pug in a tiny Eames chair.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:25 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


joeclark: Nobody used “the adjective ‘feminine’ to describe a woman’s writing.”

I think people are confused, joeclark, because your post said: "a step-by-step breakdown, designed in her characteristically beautiful and feminine style." That phrasing seems to indicate that it's the breakdown that's designed in her characteristically beautiful and feminine style.

Probably not a big deal, I don't know. Either way, the video is pretty cool. I like watching stuff get made.
posted by koeselitz at 8:15 PM on June 5, 2011


Veerle’s design æsthetic is so feminine as to be girly. So is she; I’ve met her (and you haven’t). You can voice all the standard liberal MeFi objections you want and it won’t change anything. But if you do need to change something, turn on her high-contrast (WCAG-compliant) version, which will re-render the page in black on white. Brutishly masculine black on white.
posted by joeclark at 6:33 AM on June 6, 2011


Love the Eames chair. This is in the someday file once we stop being nomadic. Thanks joeclark!
posted by arcticseal at 6:46 AM on June 6, 2011


mr_crash_davis - you just made mrs arcticseal's evening.
posted by arcticseal at 6:48 AM on June 6, 2011


but.. but.. it's friggen plywood. Shit, if I'm paying that much (google says north of 3 grand) for a bleeping chair, I want solid wood, no verneer, no plywood.
posted by k5.user at 10:02 AM on June 6, 2011


it's friggen plywood

You'd be amazed at how much good furniture is made from plywood from that design period. We have the Seven chair, bought when we lived in Copenhagen and 10 years later, still as good as new. IKEA makes a pretty good knock-off of this design without the premium.
posted by arcticseal at 7:08 PM on June 6, 2011


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