Eames Tables and Airplanes: High strength, Low weight Posted June 12, 2016 by Daniel Ostroff

Charles and Ray Eames realized consumer goods could offer better service if they were made with the same type of high-strength, low-weight structures that are used for industrial designs, such as airplanes.

The Eames Wire Base Low Tables, seen here in the Eames House living room, are an example of how Charles and Ray applied this insight.

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Bracing struts and wires of many kinds were extensively used in early aircraft to stiffen, strengthen, and sometimes even to form the main functional airframe.

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The Eames Wire Base Low Table is completely supported by wire struts. It is small, light, and can be used in a variety of ways, such as a stool, child’s table, plant stand, and a low night table. You can also put a grouping of LTRs together to create a coffee table, or stack them vertically to showcase your favorite decorative items.

Because of the strength of the this small table’s base structure, it can support a variety of tops, including heavier ones made of marble, which are now available from Herman Miller in Georgia Grey Marble (shown in the gallery) and Wisconsin Black Marble. Both are suitable for outdoor use.

This 1949 product sales sheet highlights the Eames concept for this design, referring to it as a “Strut Table.”


Today, the Eames Wire Base Low Table is available from our partners Herman Miller and Vitra.

Vintage airplane photo credit:
Left: Kogo, GFDL. Right: Nimbus227, Public domain. Both via Wikimedia Commons