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5 Iconic Eames Designs, In Honor Of Charles Eames' Birthday

From the iconic Eames House to the sought-after Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman that retails for more than $7,000 a pop

Those into design and architecture would know who Charles Eames is, but many of us would be more familiar with the designs he pioneered—one of them the iconic Charles and Ray Eames armchair that we would see in so many dentists’ office and waiting room areas in movies and in our lives.

But since it’s Charles Eames birthday today, June 17, and with Father’s Day coming up, let us get to know more about the man who helped shape—figuratively and quite literally—the industry and design of modern architecture and furniture.

Charles was one half of the iconic husband-and-wife duo, Charles and Ray Eames, who through the work of Eames Office designed some of the most historic and iconic silhouettes in the world of architecture and design. They were artists by heart and dabbled in so many fields—they wrote books, made motion pictures, and designed exhibitions, fabrics, and industrial and consumer products.

“We don’t do ‘art.’ We solve problems.” This was one of the mottos that governed the designs of Charles, who always prioritized function before form. But with the softness and creativity of Ray, they were able to come up with designs that were equally functional and aesthetically pleasing, changing the way the world approached design in the modern era.

One of their most significant contribution was their research on plywood—shaping it, molding it, and applying it in everyday use. In fact, it was plywood that Charles used when he was commissioned by the United States Navy to design contingencies and splints for World War II veterans. Taking his learnings from his WWII creations, he was then able to create the Eames Lounge Chair Wood (LCW) that would be dubbed the “the greatest design of 20th century” by Time Magazine.

To appreciate better the works and impact of Charles Eames on modern design and architecture, we’ve picked his 5 most iconic designs to represent his savvy for function, elegance, and comfort—the hallmarks of a truly beautiful and practical design.

Charles and Ray Eames | California Museum
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