Vitra RAR Rocking polypropylene chair with armrests

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Overview

RAR | Rocking chair By Vitra

Collection
Type

Rocking polypropylene chair with armrests

Manufacture year

1950

The Plastic Chairs number among the most well-known designs by Charles and Ray Eames.‎ One model has always stood out in this large family of chairs: the Rocking Armchair Rod Base (RAR).‎ Despite compact dimensions, it offers pleasant comfort even for taller users, and is also available with a seat cushion or full upholstery.‎ The RAR is a fully-fledged armchair, whose iconic shape and rocker base on wooden runners adds a striking accent to any living room.‎

Material description
- Seat shell:  dyed-through polypropylene.‎ All models are available with a seat cushion (screwed to the seat shell) or full upholstery.‎ The fully upholstered version has moulded polyurethane foam padding covered in fabric, attached to the shell with a welted edge.‎ Different shell and upholstery colours and various bases provide a multitude of possible combinations.‎
- Options:  the Eames Plastic Chair is available as a visitor chair, dining chair, rocking chair, swivel chair or in stacking versions and with ganging brackets for row seating.‎ Beam-mounted shells are suited for use in waiting areas.‎
- RAR base:  wire base with cross struts, chrome-plated or powder-coated, solid maple runners.‎ (RAR = Rocking Armchair Rod Base)
Origin of wood:  maple (Acer platanoides) from Western Europe and/or Poland.‎

'Getting the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least': with these words, Charles and Ray Eames described one of their main goals as furniture designers.‎ None of their other designs come as close to achieving this ideal as the Plastic Chairs.‎ For years, the designer couple explored the fundamental idea of a one-piece seat shell moulded to fit the contours of the human body.‎ After experiments with plywood and sheet aluminium in the 1940s produce unsatisfactory results, their search for alternative materials led them to glass-fibre reinforced polyester resin.‎
The Eameses recognised and fully exploited the advantages of the material: mouldability, rigidity, pleasant tactile qualities, suitability for industrial manufacturing methods.‎ With this material, which was previously unknown in the furniture industry, they successfully developed the shell designs for serial production.‎ After their debut at the 'Low-Cost Furniture Design' competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, the Plastic Armchair (A-shell) and Plastic Side Chair (S-shell) were launched on the market in 1950 as the very first mass-produced plastic chairs in the history of furniture.‎

The Eames Plastic Chairs also introduced a new furniture typology that has since become widespread: the multifunctional chair whose shell can be joined with a variety of different bases to serve diverse purposes.‎ As early as 1950, Charles and Ray Eames presented a series of bases that enabled various sitting positions.‎ An especially striking model is the so-called Eiffel Tower base – an intricate and graceful design made of steel wire that inimitably combines light, elegant forms with structural strength.‎

Today Vitra manufactures the comfortable seat shells of the Eames Plastic Chairs in polypropylene, while those of the Eames Fiberglass Chairs are produced in glass-fibre reinforced polyester resin.‎ There is also a wide choice of bases and shell colours, along with upholstery options for some models.‎ This allows customers to specify countless different combinations and to use the chairs in the widest range of settings – from dining rooms, living rooms and home offices to office workspaces and conference rooms; from restaurants and cafés to break rooms and cafeterias; from waiting areas and auditoriums to terraces and gardens.‎
In 2016, Vitra added roughly 20 mm to the base height of the Eames Plastic Chairs DSX, DAX, DSR, DAR, DSW and DAW while adapting the seat geometry accordingly.‎ 

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Eames Plastic Chair Collection by Vitra
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