Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Charles + Ray Eames Exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California

This past weekend, I went to see The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California.

It was great!

It covers their careers in design from the 1940’s into the late 70’s. Several of their chair designs are considered modern icon’s and even classics of modern design that are still in production today. Because of the ubiquity of their chair designs, I tend to forget that Charles was educated as an architect and that they really designed very few buildings.

Their practice was focused on furniture and exhibition design. But, oh my, what good design it was. They also produced educational and propaganda – er, marketing – movies for corporations and other entities.

Included in the exhibit is a remarkable 7 screen movie made in 1959 which describes life in America in 1959. There are several other short films being screened in the exhibit, including their famous Powers of Ten film. Even if you watch it on YouTube, below, it is incredible on a big screen in the exhibit.

I came away feeling inspired as an architect and optimistic about about the future. The people coming to see the exhibit were all ages and there were lots of kids. The interactive nature of many of the exhibits makes it ideal for kids who are 7 or older. The Museum bookstore is selling both the small and the large slotted cards the Eames’s designed as a house of cards toy, which is a great gift for any kid, or designer you may know. (I have had a set for years.)

The exhibit is open until February 17th of this year. Catch it before it closes.

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