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Chapter 11: Charles & Ray Eames

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

Charles and Ray Eames were American designers, who worked in and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and film. It all started with Charles Eames studying architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He was later hired as an artist-in-residence and instructor at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills in Michigan. There he met Ray, where she was a student in the weaving workshop although she had first studied painting in New York. 

While they worked for the United States navy they experimented with plywood molding processes in the development of lightweight, flexible splints to treat the wounded soldiers. At the end of the war they used this technology and applied it to the molding of forms for seating. This approach to molding was three-dimensional. In the later 1940’s, they continued to experiment with molded plywood and fiberglass for furniture. At this time, fiberglass was something that was used as a lightweight and inexpensive material for aircrafts, and was later developed for use in the home and office. This showed the connection between military industrial technology and modern design. 

One of their famous pieces is the lounge chair, which relates to individual comfort, and has an abstract sculptural form. 

 

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Information from book and photos from http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/eames/bio.html

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