How Did Charles Eames Produce Some Of The Most Well Known Designer Furniture Of The 20th Century?
When you would ask people who their favourite furniture designer is, you are very likely to get the answer: Eames. Charles and Ray Eames have left their stamp on modern furniture design and are definitely some of the most successful furniture designers of the twentieth century. Currently, around 55 years after their most successful designer objects came onto the market, they are still considered great designers and their designer furniture pieces are still best-sellers. But why did they become so popular and well known? and what was so special about their designer furniture to gain that much recognition?
Charles Eames was born in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States of America in 1907. The young Eames learnt about engineering, drawing and architecture as a teenager while working in a steel company. He decided to study architecture but left university after two years since Eames views were considered to be too modern by the university. Charles Eames continued studying but this time at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. After he divorced his first wife he married Ray Kaiser with whom he shared the love for art and designer furniture.
One of the first great successes Eames experienced as a designer was when he collaborated with Eero Saarinen and used a new technique of wood moulding for which they won a prize. Charles Eames developed the moulding technique and created several moulded plywood products such as the famous moulded plywood DCW Chair and the frame of the iconic Eames Lounge Chair. His innovative mindset got him more noticed than the designers who rather followed the books and predecessors.
Together with Ray Eames, he moved to Los Angeles, where they designed and built the spectacular Eames House. The Eames house is a somewhat industrial styled construction that is built out of pre-fabricated steel parts. While they were living in their house in Los Angeles they designed some of their most iconic pieces of furniture. Charles and Ray Eames mainly designed high quality furniture for Herman Miller, such as the Aluminum collection.
The main materials they used were very innovative such as fiberglass and plastic. The created furniture did not only look stunning, it was also very functional. The conference chair (also called the task chair) is still a much used chair in offices because of its combination between a modern design look and its functionality. The Eames Lounge Chair is probably one of the most comfortable chairs ever designed but keeps its interesting designer look through the moulded plywood frame.
The success of Charles and Ray Eames was achieved through their innovative ideas about material, style and comfort. Their belief in development inspired a lot of people in America and beyond to make a change. Ray and Charles Eames strongly believed that the aim of designer furniture should be to create progress and that they were part of a continuous process of developing better furniture and maybe even a better world. While we are currently still enjoying the beautiful furniture that was created by Eames, they would want us to keep on being innovative and produce even better furniture in the future.