While Charles and Ray Eames were not the first to design furniture using plastic, their work with the synthetic material has become some of the most celebrated. In 1948, just after World War II, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum Design Project, Inc., launched the Competition for Low-Cost Furniture. Intended to solve a lack of available low-priced furniture and improve post-war living standards, the contest drew 3,000 entries from around the world. It was here that the Eameses debuted their voluminous plastic design for La Chaise, its name and form both a nod to modernist sculptor Gaston Lachaise. Plastic was experiencing a coming of age—a synthetic novelty that, it seemed, could be used to make just about anything. Stamped steel and aluminum, the materials that the Eameses initially planned to use for La Chaise, had proved more difficult and expensive to produce than they had anticipated. In the end, the design duo did not walk away with a prize for La Chaise, but the chair garnered a great deal of attention and became almost immediately iconic. Yet La Chaise was not produced in the Eameses’ lifetime: Even using plastic, it still cost too much to manufacture. Nearly 50 years later, in 1996, Vitra put the chair into production. Though designed to be low-cost, La Chaise has become an object of high value, a design classic and a much sought-after addition to many homes. – Products Eames La Chaise courtesy of Paustian TwitterFacebookPinterest This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Fashion Issue 19 Nick Wakeman Creating a menswear-inspired line for women, Nick Wakeman welcomes the challenges arising from forging new aesthetic territories. Design Issue 19 David Rager David Rager, co-founder of design firm Weekends, shares his tale of LA and Paris and how he makes time for life’s little distractions. Design Issue 19 A Day in the Life: Frida Escobedo With her own firm and scores of global projects in her inventive portfolio, this architect is transforming Mexico City, one artful building at a time. Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Design Issue 19 In Anxious Anticipation The effects of adrenaline are positively pulse-pounding, but the physical whoosh we feel in our bodies actually starts in our brains. Design Issue 18 Happiness by Design Think more like designers: The strategies employed to create a perfectly proportioned bookshelf can also be used to enhance our personal well-being.