The Eames Explainer Posted June 13, 2014 by Marlow Hoffman

The Eames Explainer: How one family left a legacy on furniture, film, and Steve Jobs.


The excerpt below is from an article by Zacha Rosen. You can read the full story in Concrete Playground

“Charles and Ray Eames had a bit of a backwards Lannister twins problem. Everyone thought they were siblings. Both were famous for their innovative design work, but people who hadn’t met them would just go on ahead and assume they were brothers. They weren’t. They were husband and wife. Nowadays they’re often best remembered for designing chairs.

“They did, for sure, make some wonderful chairs. But it wasn’t just furniture where they excelled. The Eames office designed almost everything. The Eameses’ work was so either ahead of its time or so timeless that lots of its products are familiar objects today.

“The Eameses’ grandson, Eames Demetrios, is about to make a brief visit to Sydney at both the Sydney Film Festival and for Vivid Ideas to talk about both his grandparents’ work and his own. To help you get your head around the breadth of their combined output, we’ve assembled just a few examples of the family’s pioneering work.

“The Eameses spent over a decade experimenting with shaping wood. They’d invented a surprisingly striking splint out of moulded plywood for the US army during the Second World War. When they’d moved into their new apartment in 1941, their idea of fun was to squeeze a plywood moulding machine into their spare bedroom. They’d made it themselves out of scrap wood and a bicycle-driven pump and called it ‘Kazam!‘. They took turns riding the bike.

“After the war they moved to a real studio at 901 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in LA and stayed there for the rest of their working lives, still working with plywood. One of the products of their iterative wood obsession, in 1956, was the Lounge Chair and Ottoman. The lounge was designed for furniture company Herman Miller. While the lounge chair still looks pretty space age, their Molded Plywood Chairs are much more familiar. The Eameses’ work in chairs went on to be so successful that today these pieces just seem, well, normal.”

Read the full article in Concrete Playground by clicking here.