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Herman Miller revisits the playful roots of iconic Eames designs

In a gesture that honours the Eames’ distinct creative sensibility, Herman Miller unearths the design duo’s unseen colourways, bringing a playful new energy to some of their most iconic pieces.

Herman Miller revisits the playful roots of iconic Eames designs

Revisiting the intricate history of the brand’s own design vocabulary, Herman Miller’s latest release brings new iterations of the quintessential Eames design: the Eames Hang-It-All and the Eames Moulded Plywood Chair with Wood Base (LCW). These reimagined iterations emerge saturated in joyful, unexpected colours inspired by Ray Eames’ recently discovered design sketches, and the original product specifications list from the duo’s historical 1946 MoMA exhibition.

Eames Hang-It-All: Function, form, and unbridled joy

Whimsical and purposeful in equal measure, the Eames Hang-It-All has become an instantly recognisable fixture in homes worldwide. Designed in 1953 with a child’s room in mind – although certainly not limited to it – the Hang-It-All reflects the Eames’ exceptional ability to masterfully transform everyday materials and objects in a way that charmingly surpasses pure utility.

Perhaps the most fitting expression of the design duo’s ethos, this simple steel rod structure blossoms with brightly hued solid wood spheres in an engaging and inventive way. This design has seen a rainbow of iterations, featuring striking shades of lemon yellow, and magenta, the more unexpected colour combinations of the contemporary Hay palette, and neutral options like walnut or maple. 

Herman Miller revisits iconic Eames designs

This latest release reimagines the playful silhouette in a stunning pairing of stonewash blue frame and deep crimson spheres – a combination originally sketched by Ray Eames. Her early artistic training as a painter profoundly informed the renowned design pair’s approach to colour, yielding a lively sensibility with a uniquely modernist twist. This particular colour combination harkens back to that joyful, adventurous genesis, and – in many ways – underscores the Hang-It-All’s jolly, almost childlike spirit. And while this cheerful palette certainly makes it apt for a child’s room, Hang-It-All’s functional, highly adaptable and timeless aesthetic is bound to render it a splendid fixture in any interior – be it an entryway, an office or a bedroom.

LCW: Colourful retelling of history

When George Nelson, Herman Miller’s design director, first saw Charles Eames’ moulded plywood prototypes in 1945, he was fairly certain that chair design peaked right there and then. “I’ve just seen the greatest thing that has ever been done in chairs,” he famously enthused. There is little doubt that LCW certainly broke the mould. Achieved through an innovative technique of bending thin sheets of wood veneer, LCW’s organic curves were positively ground-breaking, and today, the seat’s distinctly welcoming shape makes it one of the most recognisable silhouettes in the world of design.

Herman Miller revisits iconic Eames designs

The new release revisits Eames’ original exhibition product sheet from 1946. When the duo presented their pivotal moulded plywood designs at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), they specified a range of vibrant colours alongside the more subdued, natural wood finishes. Bright yellow was one of these shades, as demonstrated by the sketches from that period that have only recently resurfaced.

Revisiting this original colour specification, LCW re-emerges in an almost opaque, sun-drenched ochre stain that brings warmth and a sense of unbridled optimism to a familiar form. With this colourful release, an iconic piece of design history finds a fresh voice, allowing contemporary design enthusiasts to experience the Eames’ distinct, joyful sense of colour – and engage with a piece of genuine design history made tangible.

The Eames palette: Timeless design meets modern spirit

These rediscovered colourways illuminate a lesser-seen side of the Eames’ work – a vibrant playfulness often veiled by their undeniable design sophistication. It’s a testament to the brilliant minds of Charles and Ray that their creations remain not only relevant, but open to contemporary reinterpretation – and Herman Miller’s thoughtful updates celebrate this enduring spirit.

Emblematic of the sense of wonder and possibility that underpinned the Eames design ethos, these reimagined iterations serve as a reminder of the enduring relevance of Charles and Ray Eames’ work and Herman Miller’s commitment to preserving design heritage – and respectfully reimagining it for the evolving contemporary context.

Herman Miller
Hermanmiller.com

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