Charles Eames (1907 - 1978) met Ray Kaiser (1912-1988) at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan State and married in 1941. They focused on the creation of modern, multifunctional designs like the molded plywood chairs that formed the salient concerns of the next three decades works by the Eames.
Charles and Ray Eames made some of the greatest contributions to design in America and across the world for over four decades. They loved their work, a combination of art and design, science and architecture, process and style, product and function. They created great designs of furniture, textiles, buildings and photography. Their great husband-wife synergy propelled their robust influence on the daily American lifestyle visual character.
For the Eames, one milestone always led to another accomplishment. Their achievements in molded plywood inspired the breakthrough in molded fiberglass work. A contest on architecture in a magazine gave birth to their innovative house design, while their success in film making resulted from their immense love and fascination with photography.
Achievements In Furniture
Technological advancement in molded plywood processing enabled the Eames to explore domestic furniture design extensively. One of their most notable works is the EWC (Eames Chair Wood) model with gently curved back and seat supports, ergonomically accommodating the human body. After extensive prototyping, the chair was first produced by Herman Miller Company and is still in production to-date.
Charles and Ray diversified their product line to include dining chairs, storage units and tables from molded plywood. They continued experimenting with materials and incorporated the use of aluminium frames in furniture. Other iconic furniture designs by the duo include the collapsible sofa, shell chairs and an upholstered, molded lounge chair.
Charles Eames studied Architecture in Washington University in St. Louis and later in Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he would later become a teacher and department head of Industrial design. Throughout his career together with Ray, they designed a series of architectural works, including churches and a series of homes in St. Louis and Arkansas. Some of the most notable works are the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Helena, Arkansas (1934), which is a blend of modern and medieval forms. The success of the modern furniture designs gave Charles and Ray time to focus their attention to housing architecture to meet the postwar housing demand of 1950s.
Film And Photography By Eames
The Eames also excelled in the film industry in addition to graphic design, architecture, and furniture and product design. Some of their most innovative and groundbreaking films include; Travelling boy (1950), Parade Parade Or Here They Are Coming Down Our Street (1952), IBM Mathematics Peep Show (1961) etc. Majority of their films were produced for corporate organizations as communication tools like the numerous films for IBM, and others for government organizations.
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