One Man’s Trash

Eames Shell Chair

On may way home from work yesterday, I found this beauty sitting in the trash! And since dumpster diving is a hot industry in Brooklyn, there was no time to hesitate. I scooped it up immediately and waddled my way back to my apartment. I’ve heard stories about people finding amazing items in trash piles, and now I’m proud to join the ranks with my orange Herman Miller Eames Fiberglass Shell Chair. Amazingly there was another base (without the arm) neatly attached to the base of this one.

The fiberglass stacking chair is no longer in production with Herman Miller due to environmental reasons and the potentially hazardous production process for workers in the plant. Modernica bought the production rights and equipment from Herman Miller and continued production of the fiberglass chair (though without the Eames name), while Herman Miller started producing the chair with plastic molding. The environmentalist in me loves supporting a safer more sustainable material. But I hate to admit that the designer in me loves the fiberglass texture and experience so much more. Below is a picture of the original fiberglass production.

Fiberglass Chair Production

The saving grace is that these chairs are now collector’s items, hopefully saving most of them from landfills. Jason and I already own four yellow ones that we bought off Craig’s List awhile back.

Fiberglass Yellow Chairs

While I support the decision to produce the chairs in plastic, I’d much rather own/sit in an original fiberglass one. It’s a classic designer dilemma over what defines the “best” materials for the job.