French fry. This symbol of North American fast food alluded to by the nickname of the LCW (Lounge Chair Wood) chair could make us think that it was the product of a pop designer’s imagination. Nothing is further from reality because in 1945, when the end of World War II was approaching, pop had not yet made an appearance in the cultural scene and United States industry was focused on the construction of war material. It was not an auspicious time for frivolities. This chair was the result of the efforts made by the Eames spouses to master plywood techniques when they set up their studio in Los Angeles, a city that had become an important nucleus of the aeronautics sector during the war. The plywood, composed of thin sheets of wood that are glued under pressure with the cross grain, was used for the construction of aircraft parts, discharge splints for fractured legs or paper mills. Strictly speaking, it was not a new material but the war research made its performance much better.
The Eames spouses challenged themselves to design a chair using only plywood. However, after conducting countless experiments they came to the conclusion that you could not design the seat and the back out of a single piece because the material had to be forced too much. So, they unfolded it in two parts joined by a curved piece supported by two legs in an inverted U shape. The result is tremendously sculptural as well as comfortable because the curves and the elasticity of the material adapt to the body and allow a certain movement. The Eameses had the ability to turn a war material into a memorable chair.