1956 was a year that forever changed living rooms everywhere. 1956 was the year that Charles and Ray Eames released the lounge chair. Along with the lounge chair they also released the ottoman. Examples of the original lounge chair and ottoman are now a permanent part of New York's Museum of Modern Art permanent collection.
Three curved plywood shells composed the chair. Now in modern production seven thin layers of wood veneer and shaped under pressure and heat make up the lounge chair. Original or vintage chairs often used Brazilian rosewood veneers and were built of five plywood layers. The lounge chair not only excelled aesthetically it was also quite comfortable.
Billy Wilder the director of Some Like it Hot and Sunset Boulevard was who Charles and Ray Eames built the first lounge chair for. Charles Eames said he wanted the chair to be "a special refuge from the strains of modern living." Ray Eames was Charles wife, and assisted him in the design of the lounge chair. The couple wanted to create affordable, top quality furniture for the average person.
Charles became referred to as Lounge Chair Charles. Lounge Chair Charles was born in Missouri. His Uncle was a local architect. While attending high school, Lounge Chair Charles worked at a steel company part time. As a worker at the steel company he learned about drawing, architecture and engineering.
Washington University in St. Louis offered Charles a architectural scholarship. He left after two years. Most claim he left because his views were to modern for the University. After leaving the University he moved his family to Michigan where he studied architecture under Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen at the Cranbook Academy of Art. After several years at the Art Academy he became the head of Industrial Design Department. His architectural experience certainly aided him in his design career. Lounge Chair Charles created new technology and process' in plywood molding. After pioneering wood molding techniques he continued his trend setting by using plastic resin, wire mesh and fiberglass in furniture.
Lounge Chair Charles expanded his artist reach beyond just furniture in the 1950's when he began to do photography and short film production. Lounge Chair Charles was an American architect, filmmaker, and designer. Who can be credited with many iconic and classical designs of the 20th century.