Power couple Ray and Charles Eames brought so much to the world of design. Their designs are continuously produced and sold in high demand around the world. With Vitra, the company that produces the products, adding items that have been discontinued and mixing up the products available.
The images in this post have been taken from the book Vitra.Eames a book first published in 1996 that looks at the designs and ideas behind the furniture. Vitra is the company responsible for working with Ray and Charles to produce the vast collection of furniture.
The Vitra-Eames collaboration started in 1953 and continued till Charles’ death. After which the completion of the final design was carried out by working closely with Ray. The Vitra Design Museum contains the largest collection of Eames designs and prototypes in the world.
Ray and Charles were interested in the ability to make hard materials (such as plywood) reflect the soft curves of the human figure. They responded to physical needs, drawing inspiration from nature and organic imagery.
Ray and Charles had a fascination with material and technology. Their designs are still in want and style.
“Their furniture is not timeless: to label it so would erase its rightful place in history. These objects are from a definite time, place, and culture (mid-century, California, modern), but they are not antiques.” (Vitra.Eames, P.17)
As a mirror to our spine the chairs within the aluminium group have a metal skeleton that supports the leather or fabric. “The subtly modulated profiles of the die-cast aluminium spines maximise the chair’s strength and lightness, merging sculpture with engineering.” (P.31)
“A network of welded steel strands forms a curved surface, supported by a base of tubular steel. The generous spacing of the wire results in a chair that is remarkably light- both visually and physically.” (p.106)
Gaston Lachaise’s sculpture Floating Figure was an inspiration for this piece. Charles and Ray designed this in 1948 for a Museum of Modern Art competition, La Chaise was not manufactured by Vitra until 1991.
Vitra still ask themselves when they are making important design decisions: What would Charles and Ray do?