Eames Demetrios chooses five highlights from the 80 Years of Design exhibition

Eames Demetrios, who is the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, shares his highlights from an exhibition of Eames Office’s work which opens tomorrow to mark his 80th birthday.


Demetrios organized the exhibition of works created by the studio, created by industrial designers Charles and Ray Eames in 1941, of which he is currently director.

The Eames were two of the most influential designers of the 20th century, known for their remarkable American architecture and furniture, including the mid-20th century Case Study House No.8 and their 1956 Eames lounge chair and ottoman.

Dubbed 80 Years of Design, the exhibition at Tokyo’s Istetan the Space gallery contains a selection of rarely seen vintage works and special editions created for the exhibition.

80 Years of Design will be divided into three parts – Art and Technology, Architecture and Interiors, and Play and Learn – which trace the cultural contributions of the Eames to these various aspects of society.

In anticipation of the exhibition opening tomorrow, Demetrios has selected five of his highlights for Dezeen:


1951 Eames Modular House
Photo courtesy of Marc Eggimann

Modular house Eames, 1951

“The 1951 Eames Modular House was designed by Charles and Ray as a structure that could be simply prefabricated and assembled relatively quickly. left unrealized.

“70 years later, we have spent over a year sifting through the original materials to capture the design in a new architectural model in 1:12 scale. The 1951 Eames Modular House model has it all. delicacies of a well-made miniature.

“We used skilled craftsmen to create the structure and furnished it with unique pieces made on a large scale. It’s been a wonderful way for us to look back in time to better understand Charles and Ray’s goals so that we hopefully can bring it to life someday. “


Plywood sculpture
Photo is courtesy of the Eames office

Molded plywood sculpture, 2021

“In the family, we have always loved this amazing piece. So after extensive research and working with the best craftsmen, we made a limited edition of the 1943 molded plywood sculpture by Charles and Ray – limited to 12. The development of sculpture marked not only a turning point in Charles and Ray’s career, but throughout 20th century design.

“It means a point in time when the two started innovating together. As newlyweds, new to LA and new to working together, this sculpture and the ability to create it together was sort of Charles’ highlight. and Ray who found how to really work and create, based on a shared vision. “


Plywood elephant
Photo is courtesy of Vitra

Elephant Eames, 1945

“Another fantastic element of the exhibition is that our two longtime partners have created special editions of some of the pieces that we have produced through them for many years.

“For Herman Miller, the flagship products are the Eames Lounge Chair and the 1956 ottoman in natural leather and the 1960 Time-Life stool, originally designed for the Time-Life building in New York and usually made of solid walnut. , available in exclusive red stained ash.

“For Vitra, the highlights see the 1941 Eames Plywood Mobile, one of the biomorphic shapes created in their first experiments in plywood, available in natural birch veneer, alongside the iconic and playful Eames Elephant 1945.”


Eames timeline
Photo is courtesy of the Eames office

80 years of design timeline

“Another favorite aspect of the exhibit is an eight-by-24-foot timeline of 80 years of the Eames Office.

“It was a real labor of love and an opportunity to reflect on the work Charles and Ray did but also the work we did to ensure that their creations are made authentically and their ideas widely shared. C ‘was the first time we brought everything together in one place and it was very emotional for the family. “


Eucalyptus Skateboard
Photo courtesy of Globe

Eames Eucalyptus Skateboard Deck, 2021

“The Eames Eucalyptus Skateboard Decks have all kinds of surprising resonances. First, they’re made from gorgeous wood that Charles and Ray literally touched for over 30 or 40 years because they were born from a eucalyptus tree ( ‘Molly’ / # 236) at the Eames House in Pacific Palisades.

“” Molly “lived right next to the studio and had to be removed (with the help of the local sustainable lumber company Angel City Lumber) as the roots lifted up the driveway leading to the house – posing a threat. for the structure.

“An interesting fact and connection is that the eucalyptus plantation was started by Abbott Kinney who founded Venice, California in the 1800s – a place known for skateboarding culture. For the 80 Years of Design exhibit , we’ve even included a clip from a movie Charles and Ray made on the skate in Dogtown. “

80 Years of Design is presented at Isetan the Space in Tokyo from November 5 to January 5, 2022. Check out the Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events happening around the world.


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