The details are not details… they make the design” and further, “Design is a plan to arrange elements to accomplish a particular purpose…” Charles Eames was used to say. What did this mean for him? Just try it, live it, test it and if you fail somehow…take your failure as a learning.
We are living a time where a 3D printer can turn few instructions typed on a keyboard into an object ready for use. Sometimes just few iterations to go from a computer based design to the optimal product.
Why a topic like this is part of a post on vintage furniture and deals? Simply because design and manufacturing was not always 3D printers… There was a time where objects were sketched on paper, where created as prototypes, shaped in different materials and in many details and… take months or years of experiments and work. It was a time for pioneers and tenacious genius.
Charles and Ray Eames: designers, artists, film makers, inventors, military engineers, scientists, also chemists… Simply genius. maybe. What a colourful and creative was their life, as witnessed by dozen of original creations and, among others, more than 100 chairs designed over 4 decades. The Eames have been some of the most known pioneers in the design space, and for sure part of Hall of Fame of the designers.
The Eames are known to be original and innovative, but reality is that they spent a lot of time to get into things. A good way to summarize their approach is that… they never delegate the understanding of things. Failures (together with an immense talent) were the root of their creative thinking. Wood is breaking? Use fiberglass. Too costly? Go to plastic. Too obvious? Back to wood. Wood does not shape properly? Let’s find a way to… and finally they fixed thanks to the “Kazam” (a machine invented by the Eames to mould playwood) and gems of our modern sitting rooms like the “LCW” and the “Lounge Chair” (still produced) were born.
Design for the Eames was an expression of purpose, of the final mean, of the usability… but purpose never caused a compromise on the beauty of the final product. They were always looking for something not requiring to choose between head and heart. Just one example to get the Eames approach.
The Eames fiberglass/shell chair were the first 3D moulded shells in one piece, the first chair conceived as a modular product, where the buyer could choose between two seats shells, various bases (even a rocking version with wooden runners and a wired one with the Eiffel tower shape), and several upholstery and colour options. Chair was produced from 1950 till 1993, and then discontinued due to safety and ecology reasons but, after few years, back again in production using different and ecological materials and finally in 2018, back to the original fiberglass thanks to a new high tech process. Almost 70 years history of the same chair. That’s not a chair… that’s an highlander.
Back to our deals, the results of the Eames’ experimental games and other early series from other designers (Panton, Bertoia, Saarinen amongst others) are still around in markets, in the internet or even in your old storeroom. They have defects, they have scratches they might have rusty parts but… they are rare or even unique… and uniqueness is a great value in personal collections, especially for passionate people. Enjoy your search (also have a look to our shop), your buy and your deals with vintage collections.