Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Eames Molded Plastic Rocker

1 roundup

Charles and Ray Eames designed the Eames Molded Plastic Rocker in 1948. Also known as the RAR (rocking armchair rod). The RAR was initially manufactured by Herman Miller and was the first ever mass-produced plastic chair. It was out of production for 30 years, but Herman Miller is again manufacturing an updated version of the RAR. The original was produced in fiberglass-reinforced plastic. The current, officially-licensed version is made of more environmentally friendly molded polypropylene. The rockers are made of maple and topped by the iconic Eames wire base. The current version is visually identical to the 1948 original.

This chair is a landmark design. It has an organic shape that is sculpted to fit the body and is made to be extremely durable for years of use. It was presented to The Museum of Modern Art in 1948 as part of an international low cost furniture design competition.

The Chair has a current list price of $449. Like many Mid-Century classics, it is occasionally possible to pick these chairs up at thrift stores and used furniture shops. It is also not uncommon for a vintage Herman Miller Molded Plastic Rocker to sell for well above the current new production list.

1 comment:

chad ladenburg said...

while your article is well written and some of your info is true. the statement that the current rar chair is visually identical to the 1948 version could not be more wrong. not only was the original made out of stamped metal but when the buckets became fiberglass they had roped edges unlike the current versions. more importantly the base has been changed 3 times sense the 1948 to he point that is doesn't resemble the original at all and is more or less a disgrace to eames themselves. if you would have taken even one look at the one on display at the moma you will see the difference right away. it will take a little more research to see how the base evolved to the way it is now.
thanks for your time