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04/12/2011 Charles Eames
The great American architect and designer, has done much after the Second World War, the development of modern style. It owes much to his second wife Ray Kaiser Eames (1912 – † 1988) which greatly helped and supported through the trials. His furniture designs are functional model for the greatest designers of the time.
His plan? Industrialize the design to make it gradually move in the direction of mass production. For this, it will use plywood and fiberglass, which will literally revolutionize the furniture industry.
Charles studied architecture at the University of Washington St. Louis, he obtained his degree in 1929 brilliantly. He has already assembled his cabinet and is currently building “Meyer House in Huntleigh Village” when he meets Eliel Saarinen, director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He made friends with the son of Eliel, Eero Saarinen. This person will have a definite influence on the work of Eames.
If Charles could, in 1938, joining the Cranbrook Academy for the purposes of study design Eliel is not for nothing. Indeed, he offered him a scholarship because he believed in its potential. Cranbrook is recognized for its architectural movement true to the style “Arts and Crafts” (“Arts and Crafts”). This movement began as a search for significant styles of the 19th century, and as a response to the resurgence of Victorian style, and design “soulless” facilitated by the Industrial Revolution.
The movement of the Vienna Workshops (Wiener Werkstätte), the German Federation of Labour (Deutscher Werkbund) and the Bauhaus movement will be very strongly influenced by the style “Arts and Craft.”
A famous New York Times reporter described the academy as “the most beautiful in the Americas.” Indeed, it is very considered and very important in America. But this is not surprising because this school is the richest of the United States. In 2009, his wealth was estimated at over one billion dollars!
In 1939, Charles Eames began his career as professor of design at the Cranbrook School in 1940 and directs the department of industrial design.
It will develop a technique during the Second World War, still used today, which consists of bending the plywood.
In 1948 he designed the chair Plywood and Plywood Coffee table, followed by the famous Table Ellipse in 1956.
In the 1950s, Ray and Charles Eames experimenting with fiberglass and aluminum, two materials that will revolutionize the industry and the democratization of design.
In the process, come from famous models, such as office chairs Aluminium Chair EA 105, EA 108 Aluminium Chair, Aluminium Chair EA112, 217 Soft Pad Chair and Soft Pad Chair 219.
A little later, to his surprise, he receives requests from IBM and the U.S. government, which then become potential customers.
Charles and Ray were also interested in photography. They will perform many multimedia presentations, combining images and sounds and a fifty films including educational and promotional IBM.
Finally, Charles and Ray Eames created in 1964, the IBM Pavilion for the ‘New York World’s Fair’. Everyone is mortal, Charles Eames died in 1978 at the age of 71 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Charles Eames and his wife Ray, are recognized as outstanding designers of the 20th century.