Addressing the Need: The Graphic Design of the Eames Office

Charles and Ray Eames were America’s iconic 20th century design couple; world famous for their pioneering furniture still in production today and furnishing the rooms of many 21st century homes.
Ray was trained as a painter and Charles as an architect. Together, they were designers who embraced a way of living where a design process both rigorous and playful was at the core of all they did.

The couple are particularly well known for their furniture design, less well known is the graphic design work which came out of the Eames Office. During their 40 year partnership, Ray and Charles spent the best part of their life designing exhibitions, making films and designing toys, which they considered a very serious pursuit. The exhibition Addressing the Need – until november 3, 2012, PM Gallery & House, London – examines their graphic contribution in all its forms, from exhibitions, advertisements, brochures, pamphlets, posters and timelines, presented in conjunction with some of their best-known furniture, films and toys.

This exhibition will feature graphic material never exhibited before, much of it very rare, serving to examine the rigorous thought processes of two designers working together to unite the structure and creativity of art and architecture and, ultimately, addressing the need in each of their projects.
Experimenting with the possibilities of technology preoccupied Charles and Ray Eames. This is exemplified in their seminal film ‘Powers of 10’ which explores the relative size of everything in the universe. The Eames Office produced 125 films in 28 years using filmmaking as a tool for problem-solving and finding it an ideal medium to clearly express complex and abstract ideas. This exhibition will include a small selection on these lesser known, but still highly influential projects.

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