Authenticity is about an intentional design experience and its multiplication. Will the user inherit the function and material quality the designer intended for them? Will the user feel the emotional, cultural, and aesthetic qualities the designer gave to the product? And will manufacturers and their distribution partners guarantee that the same quality of design is experienced by each and every user – down to every detail, in different parts of the world and over a long period of time?
“The details are not the details—they make the product, just like details make the architecture. The gauge of the wire, the selection of the wood, the finish of the castings—the connections, the connections, the connections.”Charles Eames
Designers are not creating unique works of art, they design for serial production and aim at multiplying a design experience for many users. To designers, each product is an original – not only the first prototype they personally signed off. Yet only a product made in close collaboration with an authorized manufacturer will guarantee an authentic design experience. Such collaboration is built on creative dialogue and deep understanding of user needs, market constraints and cultural framework. It manifests itself in a design process that continues even after the initial market launch.
“Charles and Ray designed the chair that will be manufactured tomorrow.”Eames Demetrios, Director, Eames Office
The Eames Office teams up with its product partners in creating authentic design experiences. In some cases, notably for Herman Miller and Vitra, the close collaboration that was started by Charles and Ray Eames continues through to the third and fourth generations of family members and executives on both sides. Ongoing dialogue and regular product meetings ensure that every Eames product made and every story told about Charles & Ray fully corresponds with their intentions and their approach to design.
For new collaborations, the Eames Office is an active partner in all phases of the design process from archival research and collection concepts to product definition and marketing. Communicating, preserving, and extending the work of Charles and Ray Eames is part of our mission. In that spirit, we support the creation of new, authentic Eames design experiences not only for products but also for publications, exhibitions and related media.
Herman Miller and Vitra
The Eames Office started working with Herman Miller Inc. in 1946 and with Vitra, its partner for Europe and the Middle East, in 1956. Ever since, both authorized manufacturers guarantee that each piece of furniture from their production gives the exact design experience of comfort, aesthetics and quality that Charles and Ray Eames intended for the user – a feeling that only the original can offer.
The co-operation with the Eames Office goes beyond manufacturing and distribution: both companies have contributed in numerous ways to preserving and communicating the legacy of Charles and Ray Eames through cultural activities such as collections, exhibitions or publications. Many of them can be found in other sections of our website.
“I am often asked if it is hard to tell an authentic Eames chair from a copy. It is not. You look at the label: if it says Vitra or Herman Miller on it, it’s authentic.”Eames Demetrios, Director, Eames Office
Herman Miller is the sole authorized manufacturer of furniture designs by Charles & Ray Eames for all markets except Europe and the Middle East.
Vitra is the sole authorized manufacturer of furniture designs by Charles & Ray Eames for markets in Europe and the Middle East (for Eames La Chaise: worldwide). Vitra is the Eames Office’s worldwide licensing partner for a number of Eames accessory objects and also holds a worldwide license for the Organic Chair (Design: Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen).