Charles and Ray Eames are certainly the most influential couple in 20th century in industrial design, manufacturing and architecture. But how what’s the story behind their love for simplistic design, architecture; and most importantly each other ?
Charles Eames was born in 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri where he attended school and grew to have a passion for architecture, engineering and design. Charles Eames then went on to pursue his studies at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1929, he married Catherine Woermann, his first wife, however this was not long lived. In 1930, Charles started his own architectural office. After a couple years Charles decided to move to Michigan to continue his studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he would meet designer Eero Saarinen.
Meanwhile, Ray, who had lived a major part of her life in Sacramento California was now living in New York where she studied at Bennet’s women’s college and continued to work in the world of art in manhattan. Ray too wanted to further her studies and went on to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art where worked with Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen and of course Charles Eames on the display panels for the exhibition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” at Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The Love Story
While working together, their love for one another grew quickly. They were unified by their love for design. Even if they had a similar philosophy of what design should be, they didn’t always agree on everything. While creating the Eames lounge chair, Ray Eames remarked in a letter to Charles that the chair looked “comfortable and un-designy”.
In 1941 they decided to get married and move to California where they lived in the famous Eames house and had a joyful and rigorous work ethic at the Eames office. There they worked on designs for Herman Miller and Vitra among other things. They lived and worked together until the death of Charles separated them in 1978.