Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Today is the 100th birthday of one of my design heros, Charles Eames. His work and his words, along with his wife Ray's visions, continue to inspire me as both a person and as a designer.
Like a lot of artists and designers, I'm one of those that share the Eameses' belief that good design can improve people's lives.
"In architecture the idea degenerated. Design allows a more direct and pleasurable route."
I'm also a huge fan of process and the Eames philosophy was very much entrenched in process. Process to get to the final product often took years of trial and error.
"The details are details. They make the product. The connections, the connections, the connections. It will in the end be these details that give the product its life."
From the 1940s to the 1970s, the prolific husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames designed furniture, buildings, exhibitions, and interiors, and made films. They are perhaps best known for the form-fitting chairs that were mass-produced using the same techniques the Eameses developed in their first apartment.
Their furniture, toys, buildings, films, graphics, exhibitions, and books all aimed to improve society-not only functionally but also culturally and intellectually.
Here are a few of some of my favorite Charles Eames Quotes:
"Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world."
"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se."
"Ideas are cheap. Always be passionate about ideas and communicating those ideas and discoveries to others in the things you make."
"Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design."
"The details are not the details. They make the design."
"The real questions are: Does it solve a problem? Is it serviceable? How is it going to look in ten years?"
"The recognition and understanding of the need was the primary condition of the creative act. When people feel they had to express themselves for originality for its own sake, that tends not to be creativity. Only when you get into the problem and the problem becomes clear, can creativity take over."
"We work because it's a chain reaction, each subject leads to the next."
And finally -
"Who ever said that pleasure wasn't functional?"
Thanks Charles and Ray!
In case you haven't met, this is Sascha, the Hamm's Bear, one of my personal all time favorite mascots - second only to The Spurs Coyote. (During the 1993-94 season he became the first mascot in NBA history to dunk both a basketball and a doughnut in a single game!)
While most beer commercials of the 50's involved lots of over the top bragging about how good their product was, the Hamm’s spots came equipped with humor, plot and punch line.
The occasional interaction between cartoons and real actors was ground breaking—Sascha beat Roger Rabbit to the punch by 40 years.
Read more about Sascha and nine other stories behind the faces on the bottle over at Modern Drunkard Magazine's cover story: The 10 Greatest Alcohol Icons Of All Time.
Click Hear: Hamm's Piano Version of The Jingle.
Thanks to the Presurfer.