Why Eames’ Designs Are Here to Stay
When you visit as many interior and shelter sites as I do, you start to see trends emerging and fading away. Fads come and go, a variety of styles from all over the world float to the surface and then sink again, and only rarely does it seem that a design arrives that endures. Even less often do you see design that is universally accepted so much that it works in almost any décor. The designs of Charles and Ray Eames fit into this goes-anywhere description.
The Eameses were prolific, and not just at furniture design. They worked in advertising, branding, film making, and architecture, among many other disciplines. Perhaps it was the constant flow of new and different ideas in each of these areas that helped them create such widely loved pieces.
Molded Plastic Armchair with Wire Base
The color and artistry of the molded plastic armchairs with wire bases shown above make them stand out in any setting. The seat, back and arms are all molded from a single piece of material, taking on a sculptural form that is pleasing to the eye. The wire base introduces a sense of timeless architectural engineering while acting as a kind of display stand for the chair itself.
For reasons opposite of the previous example, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman has become a classic, and is no less successful in a variety of settings. The inviting, precisely tufted leather upholstery is a soft bed inside a rigid and articulated wood shell. The seat, arms and back pieces come together to form a sheltering cradle for the user—and who wouldn’t want that?
Aluminum Group Chair
First created as outdoor furniture at the request of famed architect Eero Saarinen, the Eames Aluminum Group Chairs made the transition indoors several decades ago and have been a permanent fixture in smart office settings ever since. The lightweight but sturdy frame function perfectly in an office, but between you and me, I’ve always wanted a set of these for dining room chairs!
Molded Plywood Chair
Arguably the most iconic of all the Eames designs, the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair is another example of how their design savvy created a product greater than the sum of its parts. The seat, back, and legs are brought together by a central curving strip—a brilliant design solution that has never been matched.
What is your favorite Eames design?