Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Sep 6, 2011

DESIGN STREET: Eames - A Legendary Designer

Charles and Ray Eames were American designers, who worked and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture designs. Eames chair and Lounge chair with Ottoman, has become one of the iconic furniture in modern times. He and his wife, Ray Eames also worked in the fields of industrial design, fine art, graphic design and film.

Since I have been fortunate to work with Herman Miller, who were the manufacturer of his most of the iconic furniture designs, which gave me insight into his other creative sides which are not so well known to the people outside the industry. In this feature, I am going to take you on a journey to this legendary genius’s less known creative side, which was his passion for photography. But before I take you through to his photographic genius, I would like to show you two other side of his creative style.
Well that's me with Eames Chair, at Herman Miller Office

First and foremost is his iconic piece of furniture like Lounge Chair, The mesh chair and the ottomans etc. Here is some of the images of his iconic design to give you a feeling of his design range. The person on the lounge chair here is Charles Grandson Eames Demetrios.
Eames Demetrios on the lounge chair
Secondly, which has more to do directly with India, he is the genius behind thought process of creating the National Institute of Design (NID) at Ahmadabad. The, then, prime minister of India Pt Jawaharlal Lal Nehru called on him to prepare a report on creating a world class design university. After visiting several places and understanding India by travelling around for 3 months, Charles Eames came up with the report that is called “India report” which formed the basis of NID Ahmadabad.

Interestingly, In this report, Charles Eames presented a very interesting discussion on the design conceptualization based on the design of our very own small water carrying vessel known as “LOTA”.

Here is what Eames says about Lota

“Of all the objects we have seen and admired during our visit to India, the Lota, that simple vessel of everyday use, stands out as perhaps the greatest, the most beautiful. The village women have a process which, with the use of tamarind and ash, each day turns this brass
into gold.
But how would one go about designing a Lota? First one would have to shut out all preconceived ideas on the subject and then begin to consider factor after factor.
The optimum amount of liquid to be fetched, carried, poured and stored in a prescribed set of circumstances.
Of course, no one man could have possibly designed the Lota. The number of combinations of factors to be considered gets to be astronomical — no one man designed the Lota but many men over many generations. Many individuals represented in their own way through something they may have added or may have removed or through some quality of which they were particularly aware.” – Charles Eames

For full discussion on this aspect, please have a look at the India Report – Click here

Opening shot of "Power of ten"
Now coming over to his Photographic genius, first and foremost is, and in my opinion very interesting, the movie called “Powers of 10”. You need to see it to believe it, that the whole movie was shot in studio of Eames and this one movie gave Hollywood a new camera shooting technique which is still used in the industry.

The other not very well known of this creative genius is his fascination and passion for Photography. His photographs form a significant part of MoMA, New York. Since I was working with Herman Miller, I was fortunate to travel with his grandson Mr. Eames Demetrius for the exhibition what is called “The Gifted Eye of Charles Eames” in Mumbai and at NID Ahmadabad.

Here I am showcasing some of the images from the exhibition that Charles Eames took over a period of many decades. As I travelled with Charles Eames Grand Son to give presentations, discuss and generally talk about his life, I could see a personal side of Eames, that is not generally known ... for example, when he was courting his would be wife, he wrote a letter full of interesting pictures and pictograms to make her understand his love for her “Ray” who partnered with him all his life to create such beautiful products and designs.. well that is another story altogether...

So here you have some of the beautiful images from the Gifted eye of Charles Eames

Exhibition at Taj's Land's End Hotel in Mumbai

Me and Eames Demetrius - With the presentation at Mumbai
If you are interested in seeing more of his pictures from the "Gifted Eye of Charles Eames" please comment me at this post or email me, I will send more.... Cheers!!!

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
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