Herman Miller brings back the Eames chair

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 11, 2013 3:49 pm ET

Image By: Herman Miller Inc. Herman Miller Inc. is bringing back the Eames chair, and setting up a "take-back" recycling program.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Furniture, Office products

The original molded fiberglass chairs introduced by Herman Miller Inc. in 1950 became an icon both for the office furniture maker and designers Charles and Ray Eames.

The Zeeland, Mich.-based company stopped making the chairs in the 1989, though, due to concerns by Herman Miller about the material's environmental impact.

Now the company is bringing back the fiberglass Eames chair, using a new production process that Herman Miller says is friendlier to the environment. It also is launching a "take back" program to recycle the chairs at the end of their life.

The chairs will go on sale later this summer.

The Eames Molded Plastic Arm Chair and Side Chair were the first mass-produced plastic chairs when they debuted. Throughout its production life, the design was offered in a variety of colors, height options, base variations and also with upholstery.

The end came when the company decided it the original fiberglass production was "detrimental to the environment, both in manufacturing … and at the end of a chair's useful service," the company said in a June 10 news release.

In 2009, it began offering a similar version based on the original shape, but using a reinforced polypropylene.

Herman Miller says newer, more sustainable fiberglass options make it possible to resume production of the chair in fiberglass. It did not release any details, but said the new process will use a dry binding method for its fiberglass reinforcement along with a dry polyester, which eliminates the need for adhesives and thermal oxidizers. The company is also using what it terms a "monomer-free resin" in production.

The new "take back" program will create a nationwide network of companies that will recycle the new fiberglass chairs in the U.S., while Herman Miller also is trying to develop additional recycling networks in other regions.

Herman Miller is also tweaking another of its office chairs, though one nowhere near as well known as the Eames. The Mirra was first introduced in 2003, developed by the company and design group Studio 7.5 of Berlin.

The chair uses PP in a hybrid structure, encapsulating a mesh membrane seat. In re-thinking the design 10 years into the product's life, the designers and manufacturers were able to redesign the frame so it no longer needs a foam pad at the front of it, Herman Miller noted in a June 10 press release about the Mirra.

The "Butterfly Back" shell also more responsive to users' movements and has improved breathability to improve comfort.


Comments

Herman Miller brings back the Eames chair

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 11, 2013 3:49 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

PE suppliers go after oxo-biodegradable technology in Mexico

July 31, 2014 1:12 pm ET

Mexican industry defends itself, calling claims 'misleading'    More

Bioplastic created using rice starch

July 31, 2014 10:40 am ET

The new transparent, biodegradable material has a high degree of mechanical strength and good thermal resistance.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: PVC pipe used to help repel sharks from beaches

July 31, 2014 6:00 am ET

Also, we visit Nicolet Plastics which is using a unique employee structure, and Washington D.C. bans polystyrene.    More

Image

DC banning PS foam containers

July 30, 2014 2:34 pm ET

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed into law on July 29 a bill that will ban polystyrene foam food and drink containers from the District.    More

Image

Pressure is on to replace aging gas pipes

July 30, 2014 2:47 pm ET

Polyethylene is the plastic replacement material of choice for modernizing the natural gas distribution system — so much so some are concerned a...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events