Charles Eames

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Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects... the quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.
- Attributed to Charles Eames

Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (June 17, 1907August 21, 1978) was an American designer, who worked in and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture.

Quotes[edit]

  • My wife is a painter, and a very good one... and we’ve been working together for, oh, twelve years now, I guess...and at first I used to help and criticize things she was doing, and then she would help and criticize things I was doing, and we would... pitch in and do all the jiggering for each other and get it as people do... and then, gradually, things begin to sort of, you know, entropy... things began to get shuffled, and pretty soon you didn’t know, sort of, where one started and the other ended, and anything that we’ve looked at or talked about here, you know, I say that I’m doing it, but actually, she’s doing it just as much as I am, only she sort of goes under the same corporate type name...
    • Charles Eames in a 1952 speech to a national assembly of the AIA; As cited in: Ray Eames at eamesdesigns.com, Accessed April 8, 2014; Charles Eames talks about Ray Eames
  • I have never been forced to accept compromises but I have willingly accepted constraints.
    • Charles Eames, interview in: Domus, monthly review of architecture interiors design art, Nr. 482-493, 1970; Cited in: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1980) Proceedings of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. p. 77
  • Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects... the quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.
    • Attributed to Charles Eames in: Georgia Bizios (1998) Architecture Reading Lists and Course Outlines. p. 494
  • The details are not the details. These make the design.
    • Attributed to Charles Eames in: Garrett, Jesse James. "The Elements of User Experience." Diagram retrieved January (2004).
    • Alternative: The details are not the details. The details make the product.

Design Q & A with Charles Eames, 1972[edit]

"Qu’est ce que le design?" or What is Design?, Interview of Charles Eames by Mme. L. Amic. Answers at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais de Louvre.

  • One could describe Design as a plan for arranging elements to accomplish a particular purpose.
    • In answer of the question: What is your definition of Design?
  • [Design is] an expression of purpose. It may, if it is good enough, later be judged as art.
    • In answer of the question: Is Design an expression of art?
  • Design may be a solution to some industrial problems.
    • In answer of the question: Is Design a craft for industrial purposes?
  • Q: Does the creation of Design admit constraint?
    Design depends largely on constraints.
    Q: What constraints?
    The sum of all constraints. Here is one of the few effective keys to the Design problem: the ability of the Designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible; his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints. Constraints of price, of size, of strength, of balance, of surface, of time, and so forth. Each problem has its own peculiar list.

Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century. 1998[edit]

Pat Kirkham (1998). Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century.

  • Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.
    • p. 90: Also cited in: AA Files: Annals of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, Nr. 31-32 (1996). p. 111
  • Designers should only innovate as a last resort.
    • p. 373: Attributed to Charles Eames

External links[edit]

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