Charles and Ray Eames

Charles and Ray were a married couple who also partnered to fundamentally change the way furniture and buildings are designed and manufactured - playing a large role at the inception of the Modernist movement. They worked with Herman Miller and then later Vitra in the 1950’s to pioneer new technologies in moulded plywood, plastic resin and wire mesh products.

Charles was by highly influenced by the Finnish Architect Eliel Saarinen who encouraged Eames to move to Michigan in 1938 to further study Architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He became friends with Eliel’s son Eero (also an Architect) and together they created a prize-winning furniture entry for New York’s MOMA museum ‘Organic Design in Home Furnishings’ competition. Ray Eames was born as Bernice Alexandra Kaiser in Sacramento, California, in 1912. She attended Bennett College in Millbrook and continued her studies in painting under Hans Hofmann through 1937. She enrolled at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 where she met Charles.

Together they built the Eames House in 1949 as their own private residence, which stands today as a milestone in Modern Architecture and live/work environments. The house was built from prefabricated steel frames, which up until this point had only been used for internal house construction. Around 1955 the couple began to focus more on their extensive work as photographers and filmmakers.


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Charles and Ray Eames