Timeless – The Eames House Bird
On our voyage across the spectrum of timeless design, we now pause at an iconic silhouette – the Eames House Bird. Originating from the creative minds of Charles and Ray Eames, this bird is not merely a decorative object, but a symbol of the Eames’ distinctive approach to design – one characterised by simplicity, authenticity, and thoughtful curiosity.
Interestingly, the Eames House Bird wasn’t a product of the Eames’ workshop initially. Instead, it was a cherished artefact they stumbled upon during their travels. This simple folk art piece, carved from solid alder and adorned with black lacquer, found its way into their living room, silently adding to the aesthetics of their space. Its striking silhouette soon began appearing in the Eameses’ photography, symbolising the playful yet refined essence of their design philosophy.
However, the transition of this object from a personal fascination to an iconic design piece is a remarkable tale. Recognising its ability to strike a chord with audiences and embody the Eames design philosophy, Swiss furniture company Vitra, in close collaboration with the Eames family, decided to put the Eames House Bird into production. Vitra was committed to staying true to the authenticity of the original object. The bird was crafted with a focus on retaining the original shape, material, and essence of the artefact that the Eameses had so admired.
The act of bringing a folk artefact into modern living spaces through mass production is a testimony to the Eameses’ unique design approach. They had a gift for finding profound beauty in simplicity and elevating everyday objects into design pieces that connect on an emotional level. Their love for the bird, and their decision to share this love with the world, encapsulates their human-centric design philosophy, which always prioritised emotional resonance and delight.
Thus, the Eames House Bird, while simple in its form, represents a convergence of art, affection, and industrial design. It reminds us of the Eameses’ innovative vision that continues to inspire designers globally. As we journey further into the timeless universe of design, we invite you to discover more such stories on our blog. Let these narratives enrich your understanding of these cherished objects and the extraordinary minds behind them.