Posts tagged with "Ray and Charles Eames":

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Ray and Charles Eames come alive in Oakland exhibit

The World of Charles and Ray Eames, a sprawling exhibition focusing on the life and works of the one of the 20th century’s most iconic design duos, is making the final stop of its worldwide tour at the Oakland Museum of California.

The Eames Office–produced exhibition aims to re-present Charles and Ray Eames’s oeuvre for a new generation, and includes over 400 objects, including project prototypes, photography, toys, and other design objects.

The show also contains some never-before-seen items on loan from the Eames Office. Billed as an “intimate and inspiring” reappraisal of the Eames’s legacy, the exhibition will also screen the newly restored Glimpses of the U.S.A., a short film highlighting the commonalities between daily life in the United States and what was then the Soviet Union.

The World of Charles and Ray Eames The Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street Oakland, California Through February 17
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Milwaukee exhibition showcases how play shaped postwar American design

A new exhibition coming to the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) and Denver Art Museum (DAM) will explore how the spirit of play has become a serious part of design conversation. Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America will open on September 28 at the MAM and will move to the DAM on May 5 next year. The exhibition takes a close look at the cultural production of mid-century America. Postwar architect and designer Alexander Girard was a pioneer in introducing playfulness into the household with his flexible and imaginative wall storage units and eye-popping armchairs and ottomans. Architect and professor Anne Tyng was also a key figure in merging the fields of play and architecture, developing a modular system where plywood pieces can be assembled into anything from a toy to a piece of furniture.
The exhibition will include over 200 works in different media, from paper crafts, to mid-century favorites like plywood and composite boards. It will revolve around three themes: the American home, child’s play, and corporate approaches to design. Items such as Irving Harper-designed clocks, the Eames Storage Units, and videography of Ray and Charles Eames will be featured. Pieces by lesser-known designers fill the show. A color-blocking cabinet made of lacquered Masonite and birch, the Swing-Line Toy Chest, by Henry P. Glass will be on view as well as lithographs by the graphic designer Paul Rand along with stoneware by dinnerware and home goods designer Eva Zeisel. Arthur Carrara’s toy design (shown at top) is a highlight. The Chicago architect and designer created magnetic toys inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Houses and the modern movement. First sold in a yellow cardboard box, the set includes metal plates with magnetic joints, and children were encouraged to explore their creativity by building three-dimensional sculptures. According to a statement from the DAM, a myriad of different factors came together to allow for the bold design of the fifties and sixties. “Diverse materials and manufacturing techniques opened up possibilities for new approaches to design and larger-scale production.” As average income grew and leisure time increased after WWII, a larger segment of the population was able to afford high-design items. They turned their attention towards childhood development and were willing to invest in child-friendly furniture pieces and designer household objects. The statement also attributed “escapism into everyday spaces” to the anxieties of the Cold War.
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Sister exhibitions explore architectural furniture at Friedman Benda in Chelsea

Architects are no strangers to designing furniture, as they often strive for a visual homogeny throughout the interior and exterior of their built projects. At Friedman Benda in Chelsea, Manhattan, the historical legacy of architectural furniture is celebrated with Inside the Walls: Architects Design alongside its ambiguous future with No-Thing: An exploration into aporetic architectural furniture. Guest curated by Mark McDonald, Inside the Walls charts milestone furniture design across the 20th century from both domestic and international architects. The extensive survey extracts pieces of furniture designed for site-specific installations and displays them alone and with other items, drawing attention to how the designer’s influence and intent still shines through. The show’s focus might jump from piece to piece, displaying furniture by everyone from Charles and Ray Eames to Luis Barragán, but a “clarity of vision” threads throughout all of them. For example, a Frank Gehry-designed rocking chaise made from cardboard contains the same swooping curves and exploration of form as his buildings. Likewise, the collection of chairs, tables, and lighting fixtures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, despite their simplicity, are immediately recognizable as his. Wright is inarguably the centerpiece at Inside the Walls. The show displays ephemera from across the architect’s career and presents him as an auteur. Visitors can examine the cantilevering sets of outdoor lighting fixtures from Wright’s 1914 Francis W. Little House up close, then study furniture from his 1956 Price Tower without missing a beat. No-Thing is located in Friedman Benda’s basement project space, and puts new commissions from up-and-coming studios front and center. Curator Juan García Mosqueda assembled a group showcase under the guise of a furniture exhibition, with works that implore the viewer to project personal meaning on the furniture within. This “non-dogmatic approach to object creation” is in direct contrast to the rigid visions of Inside the Walls in the space above, creating the titular “no-thing,” a work that is bestowed value by its users. A seemingly normal table built from leftover construction materials (MOS Architects) mingles with a blacked-out mirror (Norman Kelley) that challenges the viewer to see much of anything, playing with preconceived notions of what to expect from that typology. No-Thing features work by Andy and Dave (Brooklyn), Ania Jaworska (Chicago), architecten de vylder vinck taillieu (Gent, Belgium), Leong Leong (New York), MILLIØNS (Los Angeles), MOS (New York), Norman Kelley (New York, Chicago), SO–IL (Brooklyn), and Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile). Both Inside the Walls and No-Thing are on display at Friedman Benda at 515 W. 26th St, until February 17.
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Industrial designer recreates the Eames shell chair in wood

Tasked by Wisconsin furniture manufacturer Wooda with creating a chair, industrial designer Tucker Viemeister recreated Charles and Ray Eames 1950s Molded Fiberglass Side Chair in a log. This combination of a traditional raw material with new technology and CNC-machining challenges the notion that a design must be unique. “All designers feel challenged to create a great chair—but why? There are so many good ones already. What can the designer offer? What is new?” asked Viemeister in a statement. When Viemeister responded to Wooda's request for a new chair design with a photoshopped photo of a log with an Eames chair carved into it, founder Terry Sweeney was intrigued. He collected three eight-foot oak logs from a nearby forest and input the surface mesh metrics into a CNC-milling machine. The machines ground the end of the logs to a 21-inch-diameter, 17-inch-high seat using a process similar to a pencil sharpener. The rest of the log was left natural to further jar the eye as it tries to reconcile the iconic design in a wholly new medium. “The form is so engraved in our cultural memory that the slightest violation of line or curve stands out like fingernails on a chalkboard,” said Viemeister, whose clients include Corning glass, the National Zoo, Coca-Cola, Cuisinart, Apple, OXO, Toshiba, and many others. Wooda had initially reached out to the industrial designer because it wanted to connect its abundant access to raw materials, space, and technology with innovative ideas and fresh aesthetics. “Viemeister took me at my word when I said we seriously want to contribute to the heritage of great design,” Sweeney said in a statement. In addition to inviting acclaimed designers, Wooda has an open invitation on its site welcoming new, original ideas to be submitted for possible production.
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Performances rule the day at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Performance has been the breakout surprise of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. While many of the works inside the Chicago Cultural Center grapple with issues of urbanism, politics, and the resonances of Modernism (especially Mies’ oversized presence in the city) in contemporary culture, the three performances included in the opening weekend program address and embody what is at stake. Views from Superpowers of Ten by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation (andres_jaque, Instagram)Views from Superpowers of Ten by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation (@andres_jaque, Instagram) Superpowers of Ten by Madrid/New York-based architect Andrés Jaque and his Office for Political Innovation, developed for and first performed at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013, uses pop, oversized props and black-clad performers to restage of the Eames’ icon Powers of Ten. The original film was filmed on the banks of Lake Michigan, not far from the Chicago Athletic Club where it was performed. Jaque’s reworking expands the Eames narrative to our contemporary condition. The exponential zooming out from Earth and then back into the heart of the atom now includes critical questions of space junk, nuclear fallout, immigration, race, queerness, and transgender identity. In a gallery the unorthodox mix of para-architectural issues might seem ponderous, but told through pantomime, they resonate visually and emotionally. We Know How to Order, conceived by Bryony Roberts, and choreographed by Asher Waldron of the South Shore Drill Team powerfully superimposes the movement of African American bodies in space on top of the charged site of Federal Center by Mies van der Rohe. The South Shore Drill Team, hailing from one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago, trains young people to master the precise choreography. On the plaza, while the performers mimicked the lines of Mies’ architecture, which underscoring the conditions of universal space into the public realm, they also brought joy and dynamism to the windswept public space. Even stalwarts of the architecture community were moved to tap their feet and wipe their eyes. https://vimeo.com/141231941 Performed in Mies' super spare Carr Chapel on the IIT campus, Theatre by Mexican artist Santiago Borja brought a different kind of otherness to the Miesian space of worship. The performance was set with two specially-designed petate rugs, woven in Mexico, that represent esoteric geometries developed in Europe at the start of the modern movement. Made out of palm leaves, one rug sits on the floor and the other hangs above, demarking what is not so much a stage as an abstract spiritual space for Ingrid Everwijn, the lead teacher of the Eurythmeum CH in Dornach Switzerland. Dressed in pink and yellow dress, Everwijn performed eurythmy movements—a kind of “spiritual gymnastics” developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie Sivers in early 20th Century. The result was mystical, irrational, and energetic, as well as an immersive experience that undermined the rigors of Miesian abstraction.
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Product > Finds from the Floor at NeoCon 2013

Nearly 42,000 architects, interior designers, facilities planners, furniture dealers, and distributors converged on NeoCon, the A&D industry's largest exhibition of office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional, and government design products. Held from June 10–12, the show included education components and keynote presentations from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president & CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. AN was present to cover a handful of educational seminars and sessions (see our live tweets from Ingels's presentation on our Twitter feed), and we scoured the showrooms in search of 2013's new product trends. Following are a few we saw at the show. COLOR Manufacturers touted a vibrant range of colors across their new product collections. Some say this is indicative of a sustainable economic upturn, while others are just sick of playing it safe. The Us Family American Seating Company A collection of adaptable seating and tables for education environments from American Seating Company was designed with the help of color expert Laura Guido-Clark. As an expert in the color, material, and finish of consumer products, she helped select a palette of 15 colors and 450 fabric options in colorways that improve the learning environment. Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair Herman Miller Thanks to advances in sustainable manufacturing technology, Herman Miller reintroduced the molded plastic Arm and Side chairs in fiberglass. A reformulation of the collection's color pigments have also facilitated a commitment to the original nine color options envisioned by the Eameses. Both models are available with a wire, dowel, four leg, stackable, or rocking base. Soon KnollTextiles The Alejandro Cardenas–designed collection of bright colors and graphic patterns was inspired by a song from one of the designer's favorite bands: My Bloody Valentine. The song's rhythm was translated to texture on a textile of 100 percent cotton. The collection exceeds 60,000 Wyzenbeek rubs. PARAMETRICS Design complexities are increasingly achieved via digital design and fabrication methods, and that trend was very much present at NeoCon this year. From furniture to finishings, parametric design visuals were everywhere—and not only in the abundance of hexagonal designs we saw on each floor of the Mart. Off the Wall Mohawk Group Street art finds its way to interior finishes with Off the Wall, a pattern from artist Aakash Nhihalani, who uses neon painter's tape to create illusions of depth in urban environments. These dimensions were translated algorithmically to a linear pattern in Off the Wall, part of the Street Thread Collection, and can be reconfigured to suggest way finding, define an area within a room, or recreate classic textile patterns. Hexagon Shaw Contract Group Bold portrayal of the hexagonal trend was exhibited in Shaw Contract's aptly named carpet tile collection. Developed in collaboration with Chris Heard and Stephen Wells of Atlanta-based design firm Hendricks; John Peterson of Public Architecture; and Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, six-sided geometric patterns are generatively configured across each tile to continue the pattern in any direction. Cliffy 6000 SIXINCH At nearly 20 feet in length, the curvilinear Cliffy 6000 is part of SIXINCH's U.S. debut of contract-ready, three-step foam-coated furniture. Designed by Rainer Mutsch, repeating sections of the bench curve smoothly along both planes for back-supported seating, lounging, and perching. MATERIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sustainability commitments are not the differentiating factor they once were but manufacturers went beyond predictable promises with their 2013 product launches. In addition to the burgeoning use of rapidly renewable materials, companies looked beyond land masses and focused on preserving the ocean's ecosystems. Blazer Camira Available in 60 new shades, Blazer is made with Laneve-branded wool that features a trace code to identify the material's source in New Zealand. For every yard purchased, Camira donates to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust to help protect the endangered Hector's Dolphin population off the nation's Banks Peninsula. 2013 Collection with TerraStrand Chilewich Chilewich has substituted petroleum-based plasticizers for TerraStrand, a phthalate-free fiber made from renewable vegetable compounds. Combined with its PVC-free BioFelt backing system, Chilewich products now boast lower greenhouse gas emissions and a lower carbon footprint than traditional vinyl products. Net Effect Interface Designed by David Oakey to convey the movement of water, the yarn fluff on both 20-square-inch tiles and 10- by 40-inch planks is made of 100 percent recycled content from Interface's ReEntry program. Carpet fibers will eventually constructed from nets gathered from the Net-Works project, a joint venture in the Danajon Bank area of the Philippines with the Zoological Society of London that collects and repurposes the discarded fishing nets from some of the world's poorest fishing communities. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION The effect technology has had on the workplace is undeniable. The ability to work anywhere at any time has changed not only the way we work but where we work and the new corporate environment accommodates everything from advanced integration to stylish simplicity. Bluescape Haworth Developed with Obscura Digital, Bluescape is a cloud-based software and surface that can be accessed on multi-panel high definition touch screens, laptops, and mobile devices simultaneously from anywhere in the world. More than 160 acres of visual data can be stored within the system and does not require a WiFi signal to function across long distances. Element Desk Moser Contract Taking a low-tech approach to workplace technology integration, Adam Rogers's design for the Element desk's classic lines are uninterrupted by cord management strategies. Made from solid, domestically sourced hardwood, hollowed desk legs hide desktop wires and a keyboard drawer with a collapsible front conceals multiple power and data ports. V.I.A. Steelcase Vertical Intelligent Architecture, or V.I.A., makes use of the most underutilized real estate in the office: the walls. Video conferencing capabilities, writable and tackable surfaces, multiple display screens, and acoustical privacy are integrated into a modular system of walls that can be reconfigured and adapted to automatically meet the way people work with embedded sensors, activators, and microprocessors.
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Video> Eames Elephants Go On Safari

If you love the Eames Office (and who doesn't?) you need to see this new video by Eames Demetrios, grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, who took several of their famous elephants on safari with him at the Malamala Game Reserve in South Africa. The stop-action video accomplishes what few in the design world have been able to: it brings the already playful pieces to life, wearing pith helmets, bumping around in their jeep, wrestling and checking out zebras, water buffalo, and other creatures (but curiously no elephants). Good news: it appears there will be more safaris to come.
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Ice Cube, the Architectural Draftsman and Eames Enthusiast

Since an unofficial concept ad was leaked (above, left) in September proclaiming "Ice Cube celebrates Ray & Charles Eames," the web has been abuzz about the rapper's upcoming film on the architects' influence on his life, part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time series of exhibitions in Los Angeles. For the exhibition on Ray and Charles Eames, Ice Cube recreated an old ad (above, right) from the 1950s, complete with a pipe and a 1953 DAT Chair. Cube, it appears, studied architectural drafting, although he never got his degree.  He joins LA stars like Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis and actor Jason Schwartzman in promoting the epic series, which continues through next year.
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Quick Clicks> Sotheby’s Farmers Market, NYC Camping, Big Blue’s Architecture, Dirtiest Cities

Sotheby's Wants to Open... a Farmer's Market: In an unlikely move, the auction house is proposing a youth-run farmer's market in front of its Upper East Side headquarters, after a sale of heirloom produce raised $100,000 for non-profits last year. The plan went before the community board this week, and DNAinfo reports: "Some were supportive of the small-scale event that would bring fresh food to the area... Others were more skeptical and wanted to know where the kids manning the stand on between East 71st and 72nd streets — on Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27 — and the produce would be coming from." Camping in New York... City: The National Parks Service announced plans to turn Brooklyn's Floyd Bennet Field, a decommissioned airport once used by Amelia Earhart, into the country's largest urban campground. Ninety camp sites have been planned for the next two years, with as many as 600 in the future. Floyd Bennet Field already has occasional summer camping nights, which the NYTimes Frugal Traveler tried out for $20 last year. How IBM Re-Defined Corporate Architecture: Big Blue celebrates its 100th anniversary this week, and Network World takes a look at the company's greatest architectural gems. The company hired some of the biggest names, including Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Paul Rand, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to design its modernist offices and later suburban corporate campuses. Martin Moeller at the National Building Museum calls IBM the "vanguard" in using buildings to express corporate identity. America's Dirtiest Cities: Travel and Leisure just released its list of worst offenders. New Orleans, Philadelphia and Los Angeles top the list. Readers chose the "winners" based on litter, air pollution, and the taste of local tap water, in the magazine's annual America’s Favorite Cities survey.
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Modernism Retires

We spotted this amazing cartoon by fueledbycoffee over at Core 77 this week and think it's pretty amazing. Don't miss the rest of the cartoon over at Core77 showing adaptations of Noguchi and Nelson. We'll be out on Monday, but right back in the game come Tuesday morning. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
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A Dieter Rams Design, Stays Designed

When Dieter Rams enters a new country, he doesn’t like to call himself a designer. Instead, the world famous German industrial designer writes "architect" on his passport entry card. In fact, it was as an architect in the early 1950s that Rams got his start building additions and installations for a little known German manufacturer just starting up, named Braun. As design director for Braun from 1961 through 1995, Rams set the company firmly on a course toward a vision of modern design as compact, sleek, and irrefutably correct. A record player that Rams designed in the early 1956 is a fit example. A compressed ash white with a transparent acrylic lid and confident aluminum knobs, the SK4 record player was nicknamed by competitors “Snow White’s Coffin” and Braun feared it would sink. Instead, it practically put Braun on the map as a design trailblazer and set the standard—rectangular box with clear lid—for record players that stuck for as long as LPs lasted. When Rams designs something, it stays designed. And that is precisely what Danish manufacturer Niels Vitsoe was after when he asked Rams to design a shelving system with flexible components. More than 50 years later, the 606 Universal Shelving System has achieved that with wall brackets supporting not only shelves, tables, drawers, cabinets and display units, but all those whether they were designed in 1965 or 2005. The entire thing is assembled without tools using instead aluminum pins so elegant and exact that most all other shelving systems (heads up, IKEA) have copied them. Meanwhile, in accordance with Rams’ mantra that design should not be new, only better, the 606 has not been changed, only improved. Case in point: the pins slide in better with a 60-degree angled post as opposed to having straight-up sides. All components from the earliest to the latest are compatible and, in some instances, the same tools are in use as they were in the 1960s. No effort has been made to keep up with trends. “Go ahead put lime green all around it; the 606 is not going to change,” said Mark Adams, managing director of Vitsoe, noting that in the past 15 years there have been but 54 improving tweaks to the original design. Vitsoe uses a recycling method for packaging so sophisticated and sustainable that the Royal College of Art in London sends students to observe and learn. The word “design” as commonly used today really does not apply to what Dieter Rams does. On a recent visit to the Vitsoe showroom on Bond Street where there is a small exhibition of the earliest components of the 606 along with some cool Braun pieces, including Snow White’s Coffin, Rams said he would like to see the “D” word replaced by “Gestalt” indicating not an object but a process that encompasses economy, culture, and ideal solutions. “We don’t need more designs, we need more and better thinking about our resources that exist,” he said, mentioning wind turbines as a prime example of something in sore need of some design intelligence. And is there something he wished he had been the first to get designed? Oh yes, he said, “Everything by Eames.”