Local design fans take note - Essential Eames: A Herman Miller Exhibition has arrived at the ArtScience Museum (now till 5th January 2014)! The exhibition captures the very spirit and philosophy behind the most famous couple in design, Charles and Ray Eames. Based on the book An Eames Primer, the exhibition traces the life and work of the design couple who are credited with changing the face of design in the 20th century and creating some of the most iconic chairs in design history.
Included in Essential Eames Singapore: a special chair designed for Pope John Paul II; the signature fibreglass Eames shell chairs; original paintings by Ray Eames (shown for the first time in the Asia Pacific); an original segment of the Eames' exhibition, Mathematica, from 1961; and the couples' most loved toy, the House of Cards. Over 1,500 giant House of Cards will be jointly constructed at the exhibition, making it the largest installation of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. Additional Eames’ furniture pieces represented within the exhibition include Moulded Plastic Chair, Eames Shell Chair, Eames Executive Chair, and Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman among others.
Charles and Ray met at the Cranbrook Academy of Art outside Detroit in 1940. Cranbrook's holistic design approach and its creed of better living through better design shaped their sensibilities and their shared agenda. They married in 1941 and joined the westward migration to Los Angeles as the city was gearing up for World War II. Wartime experiments with new materials and technologies inspired the Eameses' low-cost furniture for Herman Miller and later housing designs and demonstrated expanded ways for designers to work with industry. The Eameses also developed new partnerships with universities and government agencies, as their interests expanded beyond the design of objects.
One particular exhibit which attracted our attention is one explaining celestial mechanics where a ball is launched into a concave bowl with a hole at the bottom. This display is from an exhibition Charles and Ray Eames designed and developed for IBM in the 1960s called Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Beyond for the new wing of the California Museum of Science and Industry. The exhibition is still relevant and Mathematica is on permanent display at the Boston Museum of Science and the New York Hall of Science.
And of course, we were pleased to see the elephants amongst others!
The aim of the exhibition is to “introduce people to the breadth, pleasure and richness of the Eames’ work” and to “share… some of the beautiful ideas behind the work; ideas that are not simply vehicles for the creation of objects but for everyday living,” says Eames Demetrios, grandson of the couple.