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March Madness: Eames Molded Plywood Chair vs Eames Organic Chair

Is there any battle more challenging than the one you have with yourself?

It’s not every day you can guarantee a winner, but in this matchup we think Eames is a safe bet. That’s because it’s Eames vs. Eames, of course, and Calgary designer Amanda Hamilton is here to elucidate the positives of each in this latest edition of our March Madness Classic Chair series.

The History: Not to totally tip the scales, but Time magazine called the 1946 Molded Plywood chair from Charles and Ray Eames “The Best Design of the 20th Century.” Charles and Ray’s experiments with wood-molding even led to discoveries that would help the US Navy with splints, stretchers and glider shells. The Organic Chair was equally ahead of its time, so much so that the techniques needed to manufacture it weren’t available until 1950. Designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, the armchair had been created as a joint-submission for a 1940 competition, Organic Design in Home Furnishings, put on by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Which Eames is the supreme Eames? Amanda Hamilton debates:

plywood-chair

Eames Molded Plywood Chair

PROS: The chair hits it out of the park between aesthetics, comfort and the vision behind the development. The chair continues to be one of the greatest icons of 20th century design due to its early ingenuity.

CONS: Given that it is so iconic, it’s heavily reproduced by various companies, which may lead buyers to believe they are buying the “real thing.”

organic-chair

Eames Organic Chair

PROS: The chair is unique in that it was a collaboration between two iconic designers, Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, who both individually had very successful careers.

CONS: Unfortunately, the original chair has been discontinued. Other variations exist, however you might have to hijack one from a museum or save up $125,000 for one at an art auction—no joke.

Which Eames do you like best? Tell us below!

Find the full March Madness bracket here.

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