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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Eames, the designer

I have been working at this company for almost 2 months. Everyday, I’m happy to see all the Eames & Nelson classic furniture just right in front of me. I believe not everyone know who are them, especially for those people who is not design/ art related. Anyway, Charles (1907–1978) and Ray (1912–1988) Eames they were American designer, for Herman Miller. Herman Miller produced furniture, chairs and office furniture. 
What I impressed by them are, they have stories for every single piece of their design, and the creative usage of materials, eg. Plastic, wire and plywood.

Charles & Ray Eames

Below pieces are masterpiece that featured in our showroom, and I would like to just share with you guys briefly about the design and product story J

Eames Molded Plastic Armchair

This chair come in 4 different base, I personally love this one in wire base, because the craftmanship is just so awesome!

Design Story:

In the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames were looking forward while other American designers were content to stay put. New materials, new techniques, new shapes—these were what interested the Eameses. 

The designers were focused on the new plastics because this exciting material held the promise of being able to do more with less. They realized that plastic could be molded into organic shapes that would conform to the shape of the body.

The Eameses adapted molding techniques developed during World War II to produce the shells. They also perfected another technique with which they had been experimenting—creating a bent, welded wire base. 

The result was the process that allowed the manufacture of the first mass-produced one-piece plastic chairs. No upholstery, no covering. Charles and Ray Eames, true to their design philosophy, wanted the actual materials of the chair to take center stage. And they still do, in keeping with the designers' original intent.

Eames Molded Plywood Chairs

They are really design be follow contour of human body, they are really comfortable to sit-on!

Design Story:

In the early 1940s, when Charles Eames was working on MGM set designs, he and his wife, Ray, were experimenting with wood-molding techniques that would have profound effects on the design world. Their discoveries led to a commission from the US Navy to develop plywood splints, stretchers, and glider shells, molded under heat and pressure, that were used successfully in World War II.
When the war was over, Charles and Ray applied the technology they had created to making affordable, high-quality chairs that could be mass-produced using dimensionally shaped surfaces instead of cushioned upholstery. When they found that plywood did not withstand the stresses that occurred where the chair seat and back met, they abandoned their original single-shell idea in favor of a chair that had separate molded-plywood panels for the back and seat. 
The process eliminated the extraneous wood needed to connect the seat with the back, which reduced the weight and visual profile of the chair and established a basis for modern furniture design. Sculpting a seat and back to fit the contours of the human body, they designed a truly comfortable chair that's suitable for businesses and homes.

Eames Wire Chairs

What a brave and innovative material to use!

Design Story:
In the Eames design studio, new materials were the name of the game.
That same molded plywood, and then molded plastic, ended up as materials in innovative chairs produced in the 1940s. Never content to repeat themselves, in the early 1950s, the Eameses and their design staff turned to bent and welded wire. Inspired by trays, dress forms, and baskets, the designers developed a variety of pieces, including Eames wire chairs.
To achieve the desired shape and strength, while keeping costs low (because affordability was a major criterion of Eames designs), they made the rim of the chair a lighter-gauge wire and doubled it. This advance won them the first American mechanical patent for design. They didn't use cross-weaving on the outer edges, which made the chair lighter in weight and less expensive to produce.
The original chair padding was fabric, not leather, and the first attempts at making it hit a snag: The padding slid around too much on the wire network. To solve the problem, the Eameses took a quintessentially Eames approach; working with a design school, they developed equipment and methods to make the padding they wanted, moved the equipment into their studio, and produced the padding on the spot.

(More interesting furniture is coming... to be continued...)

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