Outgrowing Eames

November 5, 2010 By arne hendriks 0

The Lounge Chair (670) and accompanying ottoman (671) by Charles and Ray Eames, is one of the most iconic furniture designs of the 20th century. The Lounge Chair, like many important modern classics, is a piece of furniture that comes from the past but fits into our modern time. Except, it doesn’t. Since the 50+ years ago that it first came to market (in 1956) general average human height increased by some 10 cm. As a result the Lounge chair, despite its hefty price tag of around 7.000 Euro simply became too small for too many people.

Vitra, the European producer of Eames furniture,  has now decided, in accord with the Eames family, to offer a larger version of the Lounge Chair. The “New Dimensions” version of the Lounge Chair features a longer seat, adjusted armrests and a higher backrest. As a consequence the chairs require more material, more transportation costs, more (storage) space and more energy. Now multiply that with all the chairs produced on a yearly basis, and we might get an idea of what the environmental and resource costs of our increased height really are.