A chair that looked like a potato chip. Another that resembled a “well-used first baseman’s mitt.” A folding screen that rippled …
With a grand sense of adventure, Charles and Ray Eames turned their curiosity and boundless enthusiasm into creations that established them as a truly great husband-and-wife design team. Their unique synergy led to a whole new look in furniture. Lean and modern. Playful and functional. Sleek, sophisticated, and beautifully simple. That was and is the “Eames look.”
That look and their relationship with Herman Miller started with molded plywood chairs in the late 1940s and includes the world-renowned Eames lounge chair, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Charles and Ray achieved their monumental success by approaching each project the same way: Does it interest and intrigue us? Can we make it better? Will we have “serious fun” doing it?
They loved their work, which was a combination of art and science, design and architecture, process and product, style and function. “The details are not details,” said Charles. “They make the product.”
A problem-solver who encouraged experimentation among his staff, Charles once said his dream was “to have people working on useless projects. These have the germ of new concepts.”
Their own concepts evolved over time, not overnight. As Charles noted about the development of the Molded Plywood Chairs, “Yes, it was a flash of inspiration,” he said, “a kind of 30-year flash.”
With these two, one thing always seemed to lead to another. Their revolutionary work in molded plywood led to their breakthrough work in molded fiberglass seating. A magazine contest led to their highly innovative “Case Study” house. Their love of photography led to film making, including a huge seven-screen presentation at the Moscow World’s Fair in 1959, in a dome designed by their friend and colleague, Buckminster Fuller.
Graphic design led to showroom design, toy collecting to toy inventing. And a wooden plank contraption, rigged up by their friend, director Billy Wilder for taking naps, led to their acclaimed chaise design.
A design critic once said that this extraordinary couple “just wanted to make the world a better place.” That they did. They also made it a lot more interesting.
Quality + Quantity
a Conversation on Modern Furniture
Friday, July 13, 2012 | 5pm | 1423 S. Main St Suite C
studioMAIN is proud to invite you our latest exhibition, Quality + Quantity: a Conversation on Modern Furniture. We are excited to be exhibiting furniture designed by local UALR Applied Design students, and pairing it with several timeless furniture pieces that are being provided by Workplace Resource and Herman Miller.
This is an incredible opportunity to experience great local design and see some of the icons of furniture design at the same time. We owe many thanks to John Bruhl of UALR Applied Design and Karen Williams of Workplace Resource for helping curate this exhibt, great job guys!
Doors open at 5pm, and with special thanks to Herman Miller, we will be hosting a wine and cheese tasting provided by Zin Wine Bar. Come early and stay late, we look forward to seeing you there!