An Eames Primer


The first book to capture the philosophy and spirit behind the work of Charles and Ray Eames, An Eames Primer offers an in-depth look at the couple's prolific legacy--one that has placed them among the most important American designers of the twentieth century.

Those who know one or two aspects of the Eameses' work are often surprised to learn just how far and vast their range extended. Yet throughout their myriad works, from architecture and ...
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The first book to capture the philosophy and spirit behind the work of Charles and Ray Eames, An Eames Primer offers an in-depth look at the couple's prolific legacy--one that has placed them among the most important American designers of the twentieth century.

Those who know one or two aspects of the Eameses' work are often surprised to learn just how far and vast their range extended. Yet throughout their myriad works, from architecture and furniture to exhibition design and filmmaking, their core philosophy prevails. An Eames Primer is the first book to illuminate this seamless connection.

Author Eames Demetrios explores the rich energy of the Eameses' world from a unique perspective, informed by his close relationship with Charles and Ray. He shares personal anecdotes, previously unpublished photos, and his extensive interviews with former friends and colleagues of the Eameses to make connections between the Eameses' influential philosophy and their widely admired work. For those unacquainted with the designers, the stories behind the design process will inform, entertain, and inspire, while readers with an extensive knowledge of the Eameses' work gain a deeper level of understanding their process.

Compact and highly accessible, An Eames Primer is the definitive introduction to the life of this century's most influential designers.
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What People Are Saying

Philip and Phylis Morrison
From 1942 the Office of Charles and Ray Eames grew like L.A. itself to a focal center in the widest world of design. This is the fascinating personal account of Charles and Ray and of scores of their talented associates who made it an atelier of our times, creating a charmed house of steel, a dozen museums, a hundred films, and myriad seats that welcome you in airports everywhere. Eames Demetrios sketches how the pair came together and shares experiences from his own childhood on to searching interviews with many articulate insiders, both light-hearted and profound.--Philip and Phylis Morrison
Philippe Starck
The Eameses are handsome, they are a couple, they look sexy, smart, and happy. It's almost enough to understand their miracle. They don't create beauty and intelligence, they just transmit what they are. It's easy, coherent. There is a serenity. When they drive a motorcycle, it's to experience balance and the minimum. Every picture gives a clue. They offer us the elegance of their happy rigorness.--Philippe Starck
Terence Conran
Charles and Ray Eames were heroes to my generation of designers and I'm thrilled to say have once again become heroes to the present generation. The work of their office in all its variety is amazing and inspirational and demonstrates a real fascination with the detail of life. It is intensely human, charming, and kind. Their grandson, Eames Demetrios (I wish my mother had called me Eames), has documented his grandparents' life in great detail. It makes enthralling reading for any student of 20th-century creativity. --Terence Conran
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847839445
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 727,915
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2003


    In 1988, filmmaker Eames Demetrios made the film, 901: After 45 Years of Working, a family record of the closing of the Eames Office shortly after the death of Ray. It was an objective attempt to capture the essence of the studio and design work created by Charles and Ray Eames and their multi-talented staff. Now more than ten years later, Demetrios has again recorded the studio and work in the book, An Eames Primer. The modest title implies an introduction and starting point to all the work of his grandparents but it is much more informative. What makes this book essential reading is the personal nature of the writing, connections, and the concept of ¿design addressing itself to the need.¿ Much of this personal nature is expressed in the chapter on the life of Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser before their meeting at Cranbrook, including extensive writing on each family history. This early period of their lives is illustrated by several drawings and paintings by Charles and Ray with each piece exhibiting a pleasing combination of color and form that would later become the hallmark of their work. Demetrios devotes two pages on the issue of the Eameses signing with either Knoll or Herman Miller for the plywood group. This analysis, which isn¿t really dealt with in other books, is a rational and logical explanation of Charles and Ray¿s principles and their main concern about simply marketing a ¿good chair¿. For anyone interested in this crucial choice the author has formulated an essential case for the decision to go with Herman Miller. One of the many highlights of the book is a wonderful collection of color photographs of different objects hanging from the ceiling of the Eames House that is pure aesthetic delight. Also, the bottom right corner of each page serves as a flipbook tour of the expansive 901 Studio. What must have been an amazing event in film exhibition is Glimpses of the USA at the American Pavilion in Moscow in 1959. The seven-screen presentation of life in the United States shows a cultural identity of amazing diversity and Demetrios explains the process behind the production of this film. In an unbelievable set of circumstances, the American government had given Charles and Ray complete freedom to produce this film at the height of the Cold War with no ¿final cut¿ approval from Washington. Several pages also describe the production of the two versions of Powers of Ten. These films required experiments in film technology and camera work and Demetrios fully describes the process. The many contributions of staff members and outside consultants are thoroughly explained. Throughout the book, many former Eames Office members and consultants describe their experience of working in the studio on the amazing variety of projects. Issues of design attribution are commented upon and examined for several projects. Two days after finishing the book I retrieved Eames Design and several other excellent books and realized that everything now seemed much clearer after reading Primer. Perhaps Demetrios is correct in giving his work that modest title. The clean and clear connection has been analyzed and described so that it all seems so perfectly obvious. This is an informative educational book written in a casual but serious style and a worthy addition to a personal library.

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