l: prototype rocker, 1948by charles and ray eamesr:  ‘rapid rocker’by ralph rapson




in the early 1940’s the eames, charles (1907-1978) and ray (1912-1989), had the chance to experiment with new methods of bending plywood in the work they did for the navy wartime effort.they applied these techniques to their furniture design.


their chairs were designed for herman miller in four materials:molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent and welded wire mesh, and cast aluminum. the conceptual backbone of these diverse works was the search for seat and back forms that comfortably support the human body, using three dimensionally shaped surfaces or flexible materials instead of cushioned upholstery.the chairs were attached to 6 different bases like the ‘eiffel tower,’ standard legs, or rocker legs .


RALPH RAPSON (1914)ca. 1951, usa


the architect ralph rapson is best known for his experimental fabric house and the tyrone guthrie theater,the us embassy buildings in stockholm and copenhagen. in addition to his architectural career he has been a furniture designer and a design-oriented merchant. in 1945, he helped knoll launch their ‘equipment for living’ series of furniture and knoll produced the rapson linewhich included his ‘rapid rocker.’