I’m not going to lie, today has been somewhat of a frustrating uphill battle in the content department, we’ve found ourselves stockpiled with certain subjects and thin on the ground with others. Thankfully though I came across this great image of Ray Eames creating a selection of chairs that reminded me of a short film I watched not too long ago featuring a series of their seating being documented during the make. It was perfect, packed full of the ingenuity and passion that drives us to live creatively, it’s a really fascinating watch and one I’m not sure why I’ve not brought into our archive before.
What I really love about this film is that it works as a fantastic reminder that not everything we create for everyday use has to be processed entirely by a machine. This creation is for the most part organic and is something you could have a go at creating as a weekend project or during creative study. I’m not for one minute suggesting that reaching this standard is an easy feat, but in terms of getting your hands dirty and just being generally creative it’s a great project to undertake. The exciting thing about design is one thing leads to another, you never know where experimenting creatively will land you.
The shell chair itself came about in 1948 when the Eames office decided to collaborate with a research team from Ucla and enter a competition for low cost furniture design. Initially they looked at a process that involved using a metal press however with the brief being for an economic creation they realised this was too expensive and gravitated towards a fibreglass chair. These were the first industrially manufactured plastic chairs whose surface was exposed opposed to upholstered. Proving immensely popular the standard version of the chair has only recently gone out of production, with a refined edition being produced by Herman Miller currently.
It must have been so enthralling to be inside the walls of the Santa Monica studio and developing products with fresh ideas every day. If all else fails to inspire me I always resort back to watching one of these fantastic short films, I hope this go to video has the same effect on you. If you’d like to learn more about Ray and Charles Eames I can recommend checking out our previous posts on them, alternatively we do offer a few books in the shop. In the meantime, press play below and enjoy!