February 21, 2008

Whoa, Bold Move: Kid-Sized "Mini Eames" Chairs From Park Life

parklife_mini_eames.jpg

Now there is a bold, trademarky move. Anyone can make a scaled-down kid's version of classic Eames designs like the molded ply DCM chair and the fiberglass shell rockers; in fact, I'd argue that it's a crime no one--*cough Herman Miller cough cough*--has made any before.

So I imagine San Francisco-based gallery/publisher/design boutique Park Life will find a warm reception for their 2/3 scale chairs among Eames-craving parents. And even if Herman Miller's legal goons give them grief, I suspect it'll just be over the name. Of course, just being small and in the original materials--fiberglass--should be make it plenty easy to distinguish Park Life's chairs from the Herman Miller versions.

Still, if you want to be safe, I'd suggest you jump on these Mini Eameses while you know you can. Oh, and Park Life, one more suggestion: Mini Lounge Chair.

UPDATE: They're popping up like mushrooms, and judging by the photo below, they actually look like the renderings. The headline here is a bit inaccurate; they're AT Park Life, but not FROM Park Life. Near as I can tell, they started in Japan and only spread in the last couple of months. Starting a few days ago, Vita Interiors began selling the rockers on Amazon UK for just £95. Damn, UK delivery only.

mini_eames_rar_photo.jpg

mini_eames_amazon_uk.jpg


UPDATE UPDATE: HOLY CRAP, THEY HAVE A KID-SIZED "MINI EAMES LE CHAISE [sic]" AS WELL, £245, +£25 UK Shipping. Do you think they can ship it to a FedEx office?

mini_eames_chaise.jpg

Mini Eames Side Chair, Arm Chair, Rocking Chair, and DCM Chair, $225-299 [parklifestore.com via minor details and maman et bebe]
haha, classic: they also sell the [presumably official version of] Eames House of Cards.

UPDATE^3: There's been some discussion about whether these things exist, or whether they're all just renderings. I think the UK images are photos and Park Life's web images are renderings. But there are apparently chairs IRL in PL. Also, Souko Tengoku, Warehouse Heaven, a Japanese retailer has a set of large photos of an actual mini RAR chair The cost in JP: 15,000 yen, shipped. In Japan.

mini-eames_rar_jp.jpg

6 Comments

Awesome. Keen pricing too (being made in China I imagine).

[where no one needs to worry about the toxic effects of glasswork -ed.]

[i've since found mentions in Japan dating back as early as 2006. -ed.]

the first time I heard the name charles eames was as a 21-year-old 1st year law school intern at a grand rapids law firm whose #2 client was herman miller. I was a herman miller legal goon!

[actually, at that age, aren't they called Goonies? I hope you got a sweet deal on that lounge -ed.]

Damn! I really get the itch to render an entire swinging bachelor-pad in reduced scale for Teufelkind...

[a little Knoll hi-fi/credenza/toybox... a mini-Mies daybed... some lowballs with sippy lids on a tiny teak coffee table... send pics! -ed.]

I'm pretty sure those last two you found are renders using the 3D models Herman Miller has available on their website. I've used those models before, and they aren't quite right- like someone eyeballed it rather than accurately measuring one. And actually, I'm pretty sure the Park Life ones are renders too looking at them again. It's hard to tell from such small pics though. That would explain why there's no lounge chair too- HM doesn't have that model posted.

OK, who's going to volunteer to buy one of these and see if it's any good?

[a friend wrote in who lives around the corner from Park Life. I'll see if he's got a phonecam. I agree, the Chaise looks a little wonky, but I think those two Amazon images are photos. I just added a set of photos from a Japanese retailer for comparison. -ed.]

Last time I was in LA, I saw all of these for sale at various stores, "in the flesh", as it were. They were all running for between $300 and $500, depending on the model. I don't think I took pics, but I'm trying to remember the names of the stores to see if the stores have websites. They were mostly located along Third Avenue near the Beverly Center, and on Abbott Kinney in Venice. So renderings or not, rest assured that they exist, and are for sale in this country.

Pretty sure the name of one of the stores that had them in LA a few months ago was Zipper, on 3rd street, although they don't appear on the store's website.

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