Exercise 3: Repeating the process

Research task: Charles and Ray Eames

My research investigating the design process and philosophy of the American designers Charles Eames and Bernie “Ray” Eames led me to watch a video of a Q&A in 1972 where Charles Eames was interviewed by Madame L’Amic of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs. She had curated the exhibition at the Louvre, Paris, What Is Design? I also found a great website called BBC Culture where it is reported how the pair worked together to create designs that still inspire today. Fascinating how they used a plywood moulding technique to create emergency splints for the soldiers that were injured during the second world war. I then found out that prior to the second world war they had already developed the plywood moulding technique for furniture by creating a chair, plywood was a new material at that stage and just as they were refining the process, the war started.

Their mission statement was bold and simple: “We want to make the best for the most for the least.” They strongly believed “What works good is better than what looks good because what works good lasts,” (Cook, 2017).

They defined their design process by looking at functionality, using materials that were not only stylish but most of all fit for purpose. They understood each other and appreciated each other’s talents. Although Ray’s talents were not as recognised as her husbands, he always acknowledged her integral role by telling the world that “Anything I can do, Ray can do better,”. (Cook, 2017).

On reflection, I think I can learn to look at different ways of designing. Initially I would look at designing for aesthetic reasons, but it’s important to think about functionality and practicality. It is vital that all of these points are considered before completing a design, making the process more enjoyable and full-filling.


(Cook, 2017) https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20171218-charles-and-ray-eames-the-couple-who-shaped-the-way-we-live (accessed on 29.06.20)

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