Scottish design maverick Ian Callum knows a thing or two about updating icons. The former director of design at Jaguar and the current head of Callum Designs revolutionized the Aston Martin with the Vanquish series and then revived Jaguar Land Rover for over 20 years. Now, Callum and his design team are foraying into furniture with a new take on the classic 1956 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman with the Callum Designs Lounge Chair. “A chair doesn’t have to pass any kind of crash test, which is refreshing,” said Callum in a recent interview with Wallpaper Magazine. Still, for most designers, updating an iconic piece of mid-century modern furniture by Charles and Ray Eames would seem like a crash and burn endeavor. Not for Ian.
Callum’s lounge chair retains the original’s timeless shape and sinuous elegance and then modifies it with a sleek, automotive aesthetic. With its steely core, copious use of carbon fiber, and minimal material palette, Callum Design’s lounge chair is a radical departure from the source material. At the same time, while the chair is physically and visually lighter than the original — the cushions have been slimmed down to become tighter and the tufts have been axed — the automotive design legend knows better than to tinker with the source material’s mid-century Mad Men vibe. In essence, Callum Designs gave the Holy Grail of chairs a contemporary supercar treatment.
Speaking of Charles and Ray Eames, check out the Eames Eucalyptus LTR Table.