...The Eames plastic side chair shell was released a year later in the complementary DSX, DSW, DSR, PSCC and RSR versions, and the first upholstered plastic chairs appeared in 1953... An explanation can be found in our 2009 post DSR, RAR, DAW, ETC… The plastic chairs of Charles and Ray Eames...
|Product type||Multi-purpose chair|
Dimensions in mm
|Material||Seat shell: Dyed-through polypropylene
Base: Chrome plated or powder coated wire with cross struts
Upholstery: Hopsak (100% polyamide)
|Variants||Optionally available with seat upholstery or full upholstery (for chairs with full upholstery: border welting black with black seat shell, otherwise white)
Available with either a powder coated or chrome plated base
Available with either glides for carpet floors or felt pads for hard floors
(Please note: The chairs are equipped with black glides/pads, white glides/pads can be ordered separately.)
|Functions and Properties||Non-stackable
Suitable for outdoor use (Version with basic dark coated base)
|Care||For cleaning the plastic elements always use a soft, damp cloth and a mild detergent.
Dust and fluff can be vacuumed, marks are best treated with a soft, damp cloth and a mild detergent.
Professional cleaning should be undertaken with the chair fully assembled and using upholstery foam or with a professional cleaning machine
|Awards & Museum||Permanent collection, MoMA, New York|
|Certificates||EN 13761 (Office furniture - Visitor chairs)
EN 1728 (Furniture - Seating - Test methods for the determination of strength and durability)
|Sustainability||The Vitra Eames DSR is:
contains up to 14% recycled material
Vitra conform to:
ISO 90001: 2008 (Quality management systems)
ISO 14001: 2004 (Environmental management systems)
|Accessories||Suitable Seat Pad for Eames Side Chairs and Leather Seat Pads by Parkhaus Berlin or Seat Dots by Vitra|
|Product family||Eames Plastic Chairs
|Product datasheet||Please click on picture for detailed information (ca. 1,0 MB).
How much weight can a Vitra Eames DSR support?
The Eames DSR meets the "GS" test standards and is tested up to 110kg.
The way in which the chair is used is also important. Swinging, for
example, causes a higher strain which can reduce the chairs lifetime.
Can upholstery be added to an unupholstered seat shell?
The Hopsack seat cushion is fixed to the seat shell with screws. For both the Eames side chair and Eames armchairs seat cushions can be ordered from Vitra, attaching this does however require special tools and is a job fro specially trained technicians. As an alternative (smow) offer cushions from Parkhaus which have been specially created to fit the Eames plastic chair series.
Why is there a new seat height?
Since Charles and Ray Eames designed the chairs the average height of the population has grown by around 10 cm. Therefore, in addition to adjusting the height of the Eames Lounge Chair in 2015, Vitra also adapted the Plastic Chairs (DSW/DAW, DSR/DAR, DSX/DAX) to better meet current user needs. The bases of the chairs are consequently now on average 2 cm higher. The change is minimal and accordingly can only be seen in direct comparison. Bases of the original height (41 cm) are still available as spare parts on request.
Can the Vitra Eames DSR be used outdoors?
Only the Vitra Eames DSR with the powder coated base can be used outdoors; special additives in the polypropylene slowing down the fading process. Despite that Vitra recommend not to leave the chairs in the sun for longer than necessary. Felt pads are not suitable for outdoor use, for outdoor use the plastic glides should always be used. Upholstered versions are not suitable for outdoor use.
How is the seat height measured?
The seat height is determined according to the European standard EN 1335-1. This states that the chair be clamped in a special tester and loaded with a weight. The dimensions are then determined in the loaded state. The seat height being measured at a position defined by the standard and when in the load bearing state. The stated seat height cannot be measured with a conventional measuring device, rather is a normalised comparison value so that different chairs (for example, with and without height adjustment, or with varying thickness of seat cushion, etc.) can be compared with one another.
How do I recognise an original Eames Plastic Chair?
On the underside of the seat shell, the material marking PP indicates the polypropylene used for the shell, a seal certifies the safety of the chair and a sticker indicates the place of manufacture and serial number. In addition, Vitra always supplies the original fully assembled.
With the development of new production process and the use of new materials Charles and Ray Eames revolutionised furniture history. More than once. And although these days a perfectly normal feature of living rooms and commercial spaces around the globe, at its launch the Eames Plastic Chair family was a revolutionary. Created in context of the New York Museum of Modern Art's "International Competition for Low Cost Furniture" the design, consisting of a singular piece of fibreglass reinforced polyester resin, was awarded second place. From the initial idea quickly arose a family of multi-purpose chairs in both armchair and side chair versions and with range of bases. The Vitra Eames DSR having a four-legged base with a delicate wire base which beautifully embodies Charles and Ray Eames credo of providing "the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least".
Originally the Eames plastic chairs were produced in fibreglass reinforced polyester resin. A material that in the 1940s and 19590s was genuinely revolutionary as it allowed an until then unachievable combination of strength, durability and haptic elegance at an affordable price. From the earliest days of their career's the designs of Charles and Ray Eames were produced in America by Herman Miller. In the 1950s Willi and Erika Fehlbaum secured the rights to produce the products fro Europe and Asia, thus beginning the Vitra story. In 1993 increasing environmental problems and worries associated with fibreglass led Vita to stop production of the Eames plastic chairs. In 1999 however the development of new materials allowed production to be restarted using polypropylene. Polypropylene may not build the patina so characteristic of the fibreglass Eames chairs is however recyclable and less environmentally troublesome.
Maybe it was the extraordinary nature of their relationship that led Charles and Ray Eames to develop some of the most extraordinary furniture designs of the 20th century. Ray Eames was born in Sacramento, California in 1912, Charles Eames in 1907 in St. Louis, the pair met in 1940 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen were preparing for the New York Museum of Modern Art's "Organic Furniture Competition" A year later the pair married and established their design studio in Los Angeles from where, in addition to furniture design the pair worked across creative genres, most notable being their film, exhibition design and photography projects. Although all Charles and Ray Eames designs are officially attributed to both, the division of labour on the projects was clearly regulated: the trained architect Charles Eames being responsible for the technical aspects, the trained artist Ray Eames the aesthetic. Charles Eames died on august 21st 1978, on the same day Ray Eames closed the Eames Design Studio and exactly ten years later on August 21st 1988 Ray Eames passed away in Los Angeles.
In both the USA and Europe the 1940s and 1950s were a period of unprecedented, and often rapid, change. The war was over, all eyes were directed forward and everyday lives were dominated by new values, ideals and sense of being. With their DSR side chair Charles and Ray Eames met the new expectations of post-war society. An increased demand for property led to previously unheard increases in property prices forcing ever more families into smaller properties: a situation which demanded new types of furniture. New types of furniture that could also be mass produced to meet the rapidly expanding demand. Created in the new, revolutionary, material of fibreglass the Eames multi-purpose chair perfectly met these conditions. In addition the flexibility of the Eames plastic chair family meant that they quickly found use in public buildings, schools, and other locations looking for variable, inexpensive seating solutions. And so a chair born of necessity has become a global, and much loved, design classic.
Since the 1940s the furniture of Charles and Ray Eames has been produced in America by Herman Miller. In the 1950s Will and Erika Fehlbaum discovered a chair by Charles Eames in a shop window in New York and sought permission to produce Eames chairs in Europe. And so it came that since the late 1950's Vitra have been the officially licensed manufacturer of Charles and Ray Eames furniture designs for Europe and Asia. In addition to producing the pairs furniture a close, personal, relationship developed between Vitra and Charles and Ray Eames, so much so that today problems at Vitra are approached with the question "What would Charles and Ray do?".
A further indicator of the particular respect that existed between Charles and Ray Eames and Vitra is the fact that following Ray's death the Eames archive was entrusted to Vitra. From this archive Vitra are able, with permission from the Eames Estate, to regularly produce re-editions of long since forgotten Eames design classics. Beyond Charles and Ray Eames Vitra also have close professional relationships with leading contemporary designers such as Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec or Hella Jongerius. In addition to furniture, Vitra are also an important supporter of international architecture with their so-called Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein hosting buildings by leading contemporary architects including Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry or SANAA.
The Vitra Eames Plastic Chairs: An Overview
Eames Side Chairs
Vitra Eames DSR
DSR: Dining Height Side Chair Rod Base
Vitra Eames DSX
DSX: Dining Height Side Chair X-Base
Vitra Eames DSW
DSW: Dining Height Side Chair Wood Base
Vitra Eames PSCC
PSCC: Pivot Side Chair Cast Base on Castors
Vitra Eames DSS-N / DSS
DSS-N/DSS: Dining Height Side Chair Stacking Base
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