Learn about Eames, Charles and Ray
Born in 1907, Charles Eames developed an interest in engineering and architecture, which he studied at Washington University.
In 1929, while traveling in Europe, he was influenced by the Modernist Movement through the works of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Gropius. In 1938 Eames began studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art, sponsored by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen.
There he met his future wife, Ray Kaiser. Ray assisted Eames and Saarinen’s son Eero on projects for ‘The Organic Design in Home Furnishings’ competition at New York Museum of Modern Art, held in 1940, where they won the two first prizes. Their exhibits utilized innovative manufacturing techniques including a method for moulding plywood.
Eames continued working on the plywood moulding technique, and developed the ‘Kazam! Machine’, a press for moulding plywood, which lead to a commission by the US Navy for limb splints.
Now married, the Eames’ continued their work on plywood furniture, including a moulded plywood chair, which won the accolade ‘chair of the century’ from architectural critic, Esther McCoy. more...