Let’s celebrate Charles Eames birthday. The most charismatic figure of the American design of the mid-century years was born on June 17, 1907. Forging a lifelong partnership with his wife Ray – he was an architect by training and she was a painter and sculptor – the two came to forge a spectacular career as the heroic figures of American modernism. When asked about his definition of design for the exhibition ‘What is Design?’ in 1972 by Madame L. Amic, he responded “A plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose.” During his career, he was the subject of endless headlines. He designed the winning furniture for MoMA’s competition of the "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" in 1940 (with Saarinen), and ultimately best remembered for a series of molded plywood products and fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum, offering American consumers functional inexpensive produces that came to transform the American taste away from antiques. The Eames famously lived in Case Study House #8 in Pacific Palisades, which Eames designed together with Saarinen as a part of the Arts & Architecture magazine's Case Study program. In 1959, the two illustrated the fabric of American life in a film they created for the American National Exhibition in Russia. Entitled ‘A day in the Life of the United States,” it was screened in a 250-foot diameter geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller, in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park, brought the notion of American capitalism to the Russian audience. He would have been 110 today.
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