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Charles Eames

Charles Eames

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Also Known As: Charles Ormond Eames Jr. Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The team of Charles and Ray Eames, heads of Los Angeles design firm The Eames Office, hold a unique space in 20th Century American design. Charles, an architect, and his second wife Ray, a designer, thought in both the macro and the micro, designing not only houses, but furniture, textiles and other items to go inside their homes, as well as a series of extremely modern short experimental films for the inhabitants to watch. The Eames designed such iconic midcentury furniture items as the Eames Lounge and Ottoman, considered by many experts to be the most beautiful and comfortable chair ever made, and the Aluminum Group, a stylish and comfortable staple of office furniture since its introduction in 1958. While The Eames House continued its architectural and design commissions, Eames delved into his interest in filmmaking in the early 1950s. Early films included experimental shorts such as "Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a School Play Yard" (1952), a dispassionate examination of exactly what the title says. Although the Eames were instrumental in creating the modern American design aesthetic, Charles had a nostalgic fondness for some elements of pre-modern design, most obviously seen in the short...

The team of Charles and Ray Eames, heads of Los Angeles design firm The Eames Office, hold a unique space in 20th Century American design. Charles, an architect, and his second wife Ray, a designer, thought in both the macro and the micro, designing not only houses, but furniture, textiles and other items to go inside their homes, as well as a series of extremely modern short experimental films for the inhabitants to watch. The Eames designed such iconic midcentury furniture items as the Eames Lounge and Ottoman, considered by many experts to be the most beautiful and comfortable chair ever made, and the Aluminum Group, a stylish and comfortable staple of office furniture since its introduction in 1958. While The Eames House continued its architectural and design commissions, Eames delved into his interest in filmmaking in the early 1950s. Early films included experimental shorts such as "Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a School Play Yard" (1952), a dispassionate examination of exactly what the title says. Although the Eames were instrumental in creating the modern American design aesthetic, Charles had a nostalgic fondness for some elements of pre-modern design, most obviously seen in the short "Toccata For Toy Trains" (1957). This charming close-up examination of an elaborate vintage toy train setup, complete with miniature dolls as passengers and railroad workers, is set to a musical score by Elmer Bernstein. In 1977, the Eames completed their best known film work, "Powers of Ten," a simple yet powerful examination of the concept of scale. Starting with a couple having a picnic in a Chicago park, the film increases the scale of its view every ten seconds, from the couple, to the park, to the city, until finally the entirety of the known universe is represented. After returning to the couple, the film moves in the opposite direction, from a patch of skin on the man's hand to a representation of the subatomic particles that make up an atom. One of the most memorable short science documentaries ever made, "Powers of Ten" was also the basis of a surprising number of pop culture parodies, from a couch gag in the opening of an episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox 1989- ) to the video for the song "Gravity" by pop singer Sara Bareilles.

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DIRECTOR:

1.
  Powers of Ten (1978) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Education

Washington University: -

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