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Eames Aluminum Group

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Eames Aluminum Group
Eames Aluminum 119 chair in black hopsak
DesignerCharles and Ray Eames
Sold byHerman Miller (United States)

The Eames Aluminum Group series is a line of furniture designed by the office of Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller in 1958. It is an icon of office furniture and a "high-status symbol of modern design".[1]

Patent drawing for Eames Aluminum Group lounge chair


The chair was originally commissioned as outdoor seating for the home of J. Irwin Miller (founder of Cummins Engines) by Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard.[2] The original design featured a woven suspension back and seat stretched between aluminum ribs. The aluminum elements are produced by sand casting.[3]

It was designed by Charles Eames, Ray Eames, and Don Albinson; Charles and Don patented the design and innovative construction.[4] Robert Staples also worked on it.[3] Although it was originally called the "Indoor-Outdoor Group", it did not succeed as outdoor furniture, and by 1959, Herman Miller had renamed it the Eames Aluminum Group.

The chair has been in production by Herman Miller since its inception in 1958, although details have changed over time. The original seat material was a mesh, which was quickly discontinued, with the most iconic version being black leather. In 1969, the Eames added a "Soft Pad" version with cushions. In 2001, a version with "Cygnus" mesh (similar to the Aeron chair's Pellicle) was introduced. The pedestal base design has had several variants: 4 legs with floor glides, redesigned 4 legs with glides or castors; 5 legs with glides or casters. The current workplace versions use the 5-leg configuration.[5]

The soft pad variant with detachable arms is used by contestants on the British quiz show Mastermind.[6]


As of 2023, it is produced in multiple formats: the management chair (34–37" high), the side chair (same but no arms, originally designed as a dining chair[7]), the executive chair (42–45"),[8] and the lounge chair (39", originally with or without arms)[9] and ottoman.[10]


  1. ^ Zimring, Carl A. (2017-03-15). Aluminum Upcycled: Sustainable Design in Historical Perspective. JHU Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-4214-2187-2.
  2. ^ "Eames Aluminium Group Chairs: A major technical achievement". Herman Miller. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Pivo, Hannah Rachel. "The Ever-Evolving Eames Aluminum Group". Eames Institute. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  4. ^ US3041109A, Charles, Eames & Don, Albinson, "Web and spreader furniture construction", issued 1962-06-26 
  5. ^ "Eames Low Back Side Chair". Eames.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  6. ^ Marsden, Rhodri (4 September 2014). "Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The Mastermind chair". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Eames Aluminum Group 680 Chair Prototype 1". www.eamesinstitute.org. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  8. ^ "Eames Aluminum Group Chair, Management – Herman Miller". store.hermanmiller.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  9. ^ "Eames Aluminum Group Lounge Chair – Herman Miller". store.hermanmiller.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  10. ^ "Eames Aluminum Group Ottoman – Herman Miller". store.hermanmiller.com. Retrieved 2023-01-21.

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