If you haven’t already made plans for the weekend and happen to be in the London area, we can highly recommend a visit to the Barbican where you can pay homage to two of the most influential designers of the 20th Century. ‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames’ opened on Wednesday and is the first UK retrospective of work by the husband and wife duo since 1999.
On hearing the Eames name, the chances are that you picture the now-iconic stackable molded plastic chair that was first developed by the pair in the 1940s as an entry into an international competition for low-cost furniture design, before going on to furnish public spaces and some of the smartest interiors alike. Or perhaps you have a more luxurious vision of the ergonomically perfect recliner, crafted from bent plywood and topped with leather cushions. Either way, the lasting impact that the Eames’ had on furniture design is undeniable.
Bringing together over 300 items spanning personal photographs, letters and drawings, alongside models and installations, as you move through the exhibition you get a sense of the full breadth of the Eames’ creativity. Yes, they made amazing chairs, but the pioneering approach that they took to every facet of the development process spanned disciplines as diverse as architecture through to film; shaping modernism and inspiring generations of creatives ever since.