Pretty Dandy

Charles Eames - Happy Birthday!

Eames Chair

Today would’ve been Charles Eames birthday, if he had lived to be 108, so I thought it might be nice to honour him with a quick round up of shots of his beautiful, evergreen, design work.

Charles and his wife Ray designed some of the most important and influential pieces of furniture in the 20th century, as well as games for kids, puzzles, films and even houses.

They began working in their home with a DIY moulding machine which formed plywood into new shapes. Their first shape was a chair leg based on Eames own human leg and this got them their first big order… from the US navy. Who knew the navy liked great design?

They both had a love of simple materials and celebrated the beauty in every day objects. As well as experimenting with new ways of bending and forming plywood they also worked with fibreglass, leather, aluminium and plastic. Their approach to design was about creating something which was more than the sum of its parts, which worked well, rather than just being beautiful.

They collaborated with US furniture producer Herman Miller and their European counterpart Vitra to produce iconic designs still being produced today. They gained advantage from the post-war boom as design and aesthetics became important ways to demonstrate affluence. For example, they were included in the MoMA ‘Good Design’ shows in the 50’s and their expensive leather executive chair became the ‘must-have’ item for businessmen in the 70’s.
Eames classic lounge chair

They had an interesting world view and an appetite and enthusiasm for design which went beyond simply designing wonderful chairs and led them to try and spread the word about their ideals and ideas – producing a report into design education in India and to making films like “Power of 10”. As Charles put it: Ideas are cheap. Always be passionate about ideas and communicating those ideas and discoveries to others in the things you make.

I think we can all learn something from Charles & Ray Eames’ approach to life & design. Their approach was elegant, organic and expressive. They believed in the beauty of the everyday object and designed a wealth of that most every day of objects – chairs. They believed that the fundamental element of good design was understanding the need and addressing it: The real questions are: Does it solve a problem? Is it serviceable? How is it going to look in ten years?

Eames over the years (from If it�s hip it�s here blog)

(from If it’s hip it’s here blog)

Eames classic chair
Date: 17 Jun 2014 10:52
Author: Becky
Tags: home accessories interior design