Saturday, September 4, 2010

Charles and Ray Eames

After checking out some of their chairs, I started reading about the husband and wife designer team, Charles and Ray Eames. I had seen chairs of theirs without knowing who designed them. Although the couple were active from the 30's through the 80's, the easiest way I can think of describing their chairs is retro or a 1960's mod design. Honestly, when I see chairs like theirs, the first things that come to mind are an apartment scene from the movie "A Clockwork Orange" and the furniture store Ikea. The movie was filmed in 1971 and was set in a late 1960's version of a futuristic London. This explains why I associated Eames' mod chairs with a movie they probably weren't even filmed in. Also, I was so sure I had seen their chairs at Ikea, that I googled it. Turns out there's a few articles about getting Eames knockoffs at Ikea. This one for instance: Knock It Off.

The influence of science and new technology were evident in their exhibition Mathematica: A World of Numbers...and Beyond at the California Museum of Science and Industry, their movie Powers of Ten, described on IMDB(Internet Movie Database) as a “scientific film essay”, their extensive work with IBM, and by the use of new building methods and materials in furniture. Ray's study of abstract art and the couple's interest in science also come across in the fascinating shapes of some of their chairs (especially those from the 50's and 60's). The chairs are very simple but have biomorphic shapes. Modern for their time, the chairs utilize molded plywood and plastics.

The Eames' believed they could improve the lives of people by making functional furniture/art that did not sacrifice expression and design. They even worked with the government to spread their art to the masses. Ultimately, the main attraction for me is this integration of function and design.

Because of all this research now I want these with a Ray Eames design pattern. :)

btw-please let me know if anything is inaccurate or doesn't make sense. thanks

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