Project Eames

An illustrated homage to the work of design legends Charles & Ray Eames. Here you'll find drawings of some of the most iconic Eames designs, a few downloadable goodies and little bit of text should you need to brush up on your Eames history.

Lounger and Ottoman

1956. A true design classic, the lounger and ottoman were designed by Charles and Ray Eames as a gift for their friend Billy Wilder, the director of "Some Like It Hot" and "Sunset Blvd."

Elephant

1945. The couple first designed the elephant in plywood but it never made it into mass production. It's now available in plastic in a range of delightful child friendly colours.

ESU Shelving

1949. The ESU (Eames Storage Unit) Shelving Unit was designed as part of a system of free-standing multi-functional pieces, which includes the EDU Desk Unit. Made for the 'Eames House', created for a design competition run by a local magazine, Arts & Architecture: in its construction they used only readily available standardised industrial components. These free-standing shelves are designed on the same principle.

LCW Chair

1940. The LCW (Lounge Chair Wood) chair was made by moulding plywood and created for the Museum of Modern Arts 'Organic Furniture Competition', which of course it won.

Alumnium Task Chair

1958. The Aluminium Task Chair is part of a series of aluminium designs including the EA116 Chair. It is a truly timeless piece of furniture, and the go-to chair for most high-end office spaces to this day.

DAW Armchair

1950. The DAW (Dining Armchair Wooden) was created for the Museum of Modern Art's 'Low Cost Furniture Design' competition. The plastic armchairs were later combined with various bases and sold in their millions.

DSW Chair

1950. The ever popular DSW (Dining Side Wood) chair is one of a series of moulded plastic (then fibrglass) chairs that share the same seat shell but have different bases.

ESU Shelving Unit

1949. The ESU (Eames Storage Unit) Shelving Unit was designed as part of a system of free-standing multi-functional pieces, which includes the EDU Desk Unit. Made for the 'Eames House', created for a design competition run by a local magazine, Arts & Architecture: in its construction they used only readily available standardised industrial components. These free-standing shelves are designed on the same principle.

La Chaise

1948. Inspired by Gaston Lachais' sculpture 'Floating Figure', La Chaise was designed by Charles & Ray Eames for a competition held by New York's Museum of Modern Art.

ES104 Lobby Chair

1960. The ES104 Lobby Chair was originally designed for the lobby of the Rockefeller Centre in New York and has gone on to be a true classic in offices around the world.

EDU Desk

1949. The EDU (Eames Desk Unit) Shelving Unit was designed as part of a system of free-standing multi-functional pieces, which includes the ESU Storage Unit. Made for the 'Eames House', created for a design competition run by a local magazine, Arts & Architecture: in its construction they used only readily available standardised industrial components. These free-standing shelves are designed on the same principle.

DSR Chair

1948. The DSR (Dining Side Rod) chair was first presented at the New York Museum of Modern Art competition 'Low-Cost Furniture Design'. It is one of a series of chairs that share the same seat shell but have different bases and was the first plastic chair to be mass-produced. The original colours were greige, elephant hide grey, parchment and seafoam green.

RAR Chair

1950. The RAR (Rocking Armchair Rod) chair is a variation of the Eames DSR and DAW chairs but has runners on the bottom to make it a rocking chair.

EA116 Chair

1958. The EA116 Aluminium Easy Chair is one of the greatest furniture designs of the 20th century. The fabric cover is stretched over the aluminium frame transforming it from being a mere cover to a load­ bearing part of the structure.


American designers Charles (1907-1978) and his wife Ray (1912-1988) Eames made major contributions in many fields of design including industrial design, furniture design, art, graphic design, film and architecture. The couple married in 1941 and moved from Michigan, where they had met at Cranbrook Univeristy, to Los Angeles and established an office together.

They got their first big break in 1942 when the US navy placed an order for 5,000 splints that they had made from a mould of Charles’ own leg. Having moved into a rented studio on nearby Santa Monica Boulevard, the couple continued their experiments in plywood producing furniture such as the Plywood Chair (1945), sculptures and even toys. After plywood, the Eames focused on projects with other materials by creating furniture in fibreglass, plastic, aluminium and, for the 1956 Lounge Chair, which was designed as a gift for director Billy Wilder, leather and a rich plywood. It was their experiments with fibreglass that led to the production of one of their most recognisable pieces still today: the Eames plastic armchair. The Eames plastic armchair was first presented in 1948 at the New York Museum of Modern Art’s ‘Low cost furniture design’ competition. The comfortable shell, made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic, was combined with a variety of bases to create different looks. The Eames' furniture, especially office chairs such as the Lounge and Aluminium Series are today synonymous with mid-20th century corporate America.

Charles died in 1978 with Ray dying of cancer on 21 August 1988, ten years to the day after Charles.

Further reading

Eames Office

The Eames Office is dedicated to communicating, preserving and extending the work of Charles and Ray Eames.

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Eames Designs

A virtual encyclopedia of all things Eames. Eames Desigs has all the furniture as well as artwork and even 'Eames spotting' on TV and Film.

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Design Museum

An excellent biography of Charles and Ray Eames from London's Design Museum. Including a useful timeline of important dates.

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Eames: Beautiful Details

From Ammo Publishing this book is full of amazing photography and information text, a must for any Eames fans.

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MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has a very good Eames biography as well as a collection of classic Eames peieces featured in the museum over the years.

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Wikipedia

You can't not have a look on Wikipedia. A one stop shop for information on Charles, Ray, their designs & philosophy, awards and exhibitions.

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