Eames Molded Plastic Rocking Chair by Herman Miller
designed by Charles and Ray Eames
At A Glance:
This is one of the most unique and interesting variations in the Eames Molded Plastic Chair "canon." It speaks the creative freedom that Charles and Ray Eames possessed. They weren't hemmed in by what they thought their chairs could be. They allowed themselves to dream of different purposes and looks, and they weren't bound by convention or rules. And that's how pieces as new, modern and vibrant as the molded plastic series got made into rocking chairs.
Rocking chairs are often thought of as the province of the nursery, the front porch, or the grandparent. But with this base of the chair, Charles and Ray Eames pushed the concept of the rocking chair into the office, the living room, the kitchen and desk area, and even the public space. By combining the vibrantly new with the familiar, Charles and Ray created an unusual but very comfortable and very fun new type of chair.
The base of the chair in this model is made of wood (the actual rockers are wooden) and wire. the wire criss-crosses, like the Eiffel base, but it's different and more simple than that. The wire serves mainly as a support between the legs of the chair, sunk into the wood of the rockers. The addition of the rockers makes a chair that was beautiful and innovative before almost a conversation piece; it's such a surprising and delightful combination. It's also handsome. The tone of the wood mixes well with the polished legs and wiring of the rest of the base, and the color of the plastic on top of the chair is of course up to the buyer to decide.
What's To Like:
The Eames molded plastic chairs are as beloved today as when they were first introduced in 1948. Whether stacking or ganging in large spaces like auditoriums or cafeterias, or on their own in elegant homes, libraries, and conference rooms, these chairs unite enduring form and quality construction in a comfortable, durable seat. Charles and Ray Eames adapted molding techniques developed during World War II to mass produce this classic design. These molded plastic rocking chairs are true to the originals and are fully authentic, with updated materials to meet environmental requirements. Their enduring forms and quality construction make them comfortable, durable performers.
What's Not to Like:
If we're being picky, it is possible that those who are taller will find that the back of the chair doesn't provide enough support, and can end up being a bit uncomfortable. If you're not tall, this shouldn't be a concern.
The Bottom Line:
This is an unusual design for a chair, but it works beautifully. That's one of the hallmarks of a great Eames design. They are able to take something that shouldn't work, or that hasn't worked before (a modern rocker, bending plywood, etc.) and they make it so well, make it so beautifully, that you can't believe no one else thought of it before. They furniture they made has what they called "way-it-should-be-ness." The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker (model RAR) is absolutely chock full of way-it-should-be-ness.
- 26.5" h x 25" w x 27.25" d
- Seat height: 13"
- Arm height: 22.75"
- Recyclable polypropylene shell
- For extended comfort, the shell is connected to the base by rubber shock mounts
- The shell is dyed throughout so colors remain vibrant even after years of hard use
The Herman Miller Molded Plastic Chair is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: RARCH, RAR.
Recyclable polypropylene shell.
Overall: 26.5" h x 25" w x 27.25" d
Seat height: 13"
Arm height: 22.75"
See the Molded Plastic Chair Colors page for a better look at the color options.
Friendly to the earth. Shells are recyclable polypropylene.
Integral color. The shell is dyed throughout so colors remain vibrant even after years of hard use.
Cushioned contact. For extended comfort, the shell is connected to the base by rubber shock mounts.
New materials, especially those that held promise for doing more with less, fascinated Charles and Ray Eames throughout their careers. Their fascination led to inventive modern furniture, such as the molded plastic chair. Designed in 1948, it was the first plastic chair to be mass produced.
The current models look exactly the same as the originals. They remain unupholstered, in keeping with the Eameses requirement that materials be expressed honestly and unselfconsciously. In fact, these were the first one-piece plastic chairs to be left uncovered.
At the same time, the chairs are better than ever. For example, the shell is now manufactured using more environmentally friendly, high-impact plastic.