June 20, 2012
Plastic Eames Chair
From the New York Times: "When Niels Wildenberg turned 21 and had a few dollars to spend, instead of treating himself to a used car he bought a used chair. The one he coveted was wood and leather and could be identified by almost anyone as the classic lounge chair designed in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames."
"Now 43, Mr. Wildenberg, a founder of Mal, a new furniture company in the Dutch town of Eindhoven, is producing lounge chairs that look strikingly similar to the one he bought years ago, except that they are brightly colored plastic and meant for outdoors."
"Coyly called Mal 1956 — 'mal' is the Dutch word for 'mold,' and it also means 'silly,' Mr. Wildenberg said — the chair and accompanying ottoman are made of polyethylene powder that has been heated and rotated in an aluminum mold."
"Plastic is more forgiving than the rosewood with which the original Eames lounge chair was built, so owners need not be overly protective. 'For instance, if your dog used the chair for his chewing toy,' Mr. Wildenberg said, 'the chair could be recycled into a new chair by using the same material.'"
"Also clever are the holes drilled into the chair and ottoman where you would find leather buttons on the original; their job is to drain rainwater."
"Reminded that messing with a celebrated silhouette can have unpleasant consequences, Mr. Wildenberg didn't seem worried. His partner, Bob Copray, received a call from a representative of Vitra, which produces and distributes the Eames lounge chair in Europe, he said, and 'Bob told her the ins and outs about our product. That’s all we have heard up till now.' The chair is a respectful tribute, he added, and 'we strongly believe in the fact that we have created a whole new product.'"
"Mal 1956 weighs about 64 pounds with the ottoman and is about $1,120. Information: mal-furniture.com."
Full disclosure: When I finally sat in a genuine Eames chair, I couldn't believe how uncomfortable it was. Another mass delusion, like the Aeron Chair and the Kindle, with its grey screen that Jeff Bezos has somehow convinced people is just great for reading.
Maybe I'm just allergic to Kool-Aid.
June 20, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink
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Eames was part of the Bauhaus school.
Tom Wolfe made this observation about the Bauhaus:
"O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, has there ever been another place on earth where so many people of wealth and power have paid for and put up with so much architecture they detested as within thy blessed borders today?"
From Bauhaus to Our House, FSG, 1981.
I'll stick with my Ekornes. Indoors.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jun 20, 2012 11:21:14 AM
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