Charles Eames

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Eames, Charles Orman (1907–78). American designer, one of the most significant and versatile of his time. His reputation as an architect rests on his own dwelling at Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, CA (1945–9—one of Entenza's Case Study houses), steel-framed structure owing something to the work of Mies van der Rohe: it was an important example of industrialized building. He was even better known as a designer of moulded plywood chairs and other furniture, especially the Eames Chair (1940–1), produced with Eero Saarinen (whom he met while at Cranbook Academy). With his second wife, Ray Kaiser (1916–88), he shared credit for all his design projects after their marriage in 1941.


Albrecht et al. (1997);
Wi.Cu (1996);
Demetrios (2001);
Design Quarterly, xcviii–xcix (1975), 20–29;
Drexler (1973);
Kalman (1994);
Kirkham (1995);
Neuhart (1989);
Steele (ed.) (1994b);
Stungo (2000)

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Charles Eames (āmz), 1907–78, American designer, b. St. Louis, Mo. He opened his own architectural practice in 1930 and in the late 30s studied with Eliel Saarinen at the Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., later teaching there, and becoming head of the design department. In 1941 he married Cranbrook colleague Ray Kaiser Eames, 1912–88, b. Sacramento, Calif., and they settled in S California. Together they created some of 20th-century America's most influential designs for furniture, interiors, fabrics, toys, and other consumer goods, most manufactured with mass-production techniques. Most famous is the stackable "Eames chair," with its molded-plywood back and seat and stainless steel legs. In 1949 they designed their now iconic Pacific Palisades home. They also worked in photography and film, making dozens of short films, e.g., Powers of Ten (1977), and designed numerous museum exhibitions.

See M. and J. Neuhart and R. Eames, Eames Design (1989); P. Kirkham, Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century (1995); D. Albrecht, ed., The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (1997); J. Barkley, Eames House (2001); E. Demetrios, An Eames Primer (2002).