Design Hero #1: Ray Eames

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Ray holding Dot Pattern fabric design, circa 1947. Image via

One of my all time favourite female designers is Ray Eames. I just adore her.

A few weekends back I had the pleasure of seeing the recently released documentary 'Eames: The Architect and The Painter', a wonderful insight into the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames. While I loved hearing about their experimental design process and incredible architecture, I was really fascinated by the way that Ray was portrayed. Often over looked as the lesser half of the Eames phenomenon, Ray was shown as a quirky, daring, inventive woman of the '50s. She seemed to have a wicked sense of humour, an incredible understanding of colour and a meticulous obsession for collecting. As a fellow hoarder of books, trimmings and generally all objects that 'might come in handy one day' I totally connected. My desk looks like Ray's on a good day!

Organised Chaos - Ray's Desk, 1976. Image via

The Eames philosophy of 'The best, for the most, for the least' is something I truly admire. What I do struggle with is that nowadays Eames furniture has transformed into a luxury, rather than an affordable everyday object. The majority of people (myself included) purchase replicas rather than the real deal simply to experience the design. I often wonder what Charles and Ray would have thought about that?

"We don't do art, we solve problems" - Ray Eames. What an incredibly cool little lady.

'Eames: The Architect & The Painter' is screening at ACMI until Sunday June 17th.


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