Another reflection of
their design principles.
An Impressive Display
Tables to Go with the Chairs
While working on their molded plywood chairs in 1945, designers Charles and Ray Eames decided to experiment with using molded plywood for tables, too. And they produced a slew of them: rectangular, round, with wire legs and plywood legs. The coffee table was one of these early originals.
The Eameses wanted the plywood tables to be designed according to the principles that had guided their design of the plywood chairs: The tables were to present a minimal statement, be capable of mass production, sell for a low cost, answer a wide range of home needs, and be easily moved and stored.
George Nelson is Impressed
The plywood tables and chairs were shown at an exhibition at the Barclay Hotel in New York. George Nelson, the new Herman Miller design director, saw the coffee table and other ground-breaking Eames molded plywood pieces at that showing. He was so impressed that he told company president DJ De Pree that Herman Miller had to hire the Eameses.
Nelson was impressed by the Eameses' ground breaking work in molded plywood.
Charles and Ray Eames Come to Herman Miller
De Pree demurred—the company was still very small at the time and he wasn't convinced that it needed any designer other than Nelson. But finally he gave in and went to see the Eames molded plywood pieces when they were shown at New York's Museum of Modern Art. De Pree was won over, and soon afterward, Charles and Ray were designing for Herman Miller. The table went into production in 1946.