ID Neuwerk

Design Education Research

  • Designprozesse
    Lecture 4: ReCut Eames – Designing the idea


    Design is a method of action
    Die Erweiterung der Handlungsfelder

    Ein filmischer ReCut aus Interviews, Filmen, Vorträgen …
    zum Werk von Charles und Ray Eames.

    Die Eames stehen prototypisch und ihrer Zeit vorausweisend als Designer des 20. Jahrhunderts für die Definition und das Ausloten von Design als Profession und eine umfassende Durchführung von Designprozessen. Ihr Werk reicht von Produktdesign über Filme und Multimedia Lectures bis zu Ausstellungen und zeigt bis weit in die Bereiche eines entstehenden Informationsdesign.

    Die Entwicklung der Projekte und Arbeiten des Eames Office zeigen einen deutlichen Shift von der Gestaltung von Objekten hin zur Vermittlung von Wissen und Gestaltung von Information. Damit bildet das Werk der Eames zugleich einen Höhepunkt der Designgeschichte des ausgehenden Industriezeitalters wie es schon vorausweisender Vorbote der Handlungsfelder der Designprofessionen im Information Age ist.


    00:11 – Questions & answers 1
    01:00 – It all began with a chair … the design process
    06:45 – 901 Washington Boulevard – the Eames office
    11:03 – Questions & answers 2
    11:44 – The post war era will be the Eames era
    15:10 – The case study house #8
    21:08 – Turn the Eames office into a circus – take your plaesure seriously
    23:40 – The Eames design as part of the Marshall Plan
    25:01 – The shift from intentional build objects to intentional film and study projects
    29:03 – Film used as a tool
    34:28 – The Sputnik Shock
    36:37 – Entering the information age
    38:23 – The Eames will be communicators, who use images rather than words
    44:28 – The journey from not knowing to knowing
    45:14 – From communication to the design of education, knowledge and information
    50:25 – The design process diagram viewed by Charles Eames
    51:20 – By working for the „googles” of their time allowed them incredible experimenting
    55:20 – Powers of Ten – a film as a media for prototyping and modeling the idea of scaling
    1:02:23 – The Banana Leaf Parable
    1:04:09 – Franklin Jefferson Exhibition – the trying to give an hypertext experience …
    1:06:29 – Questions & answers 3


    Eames ReCut enthält Ausschnitte aus Vorträgen von …

    Eric Schuldenfrei: Creative Commons and the Design of Public Resources
    Keynote in Cumulus Conference, Helsinki Finland, 2012

    Eames Demetrios: The design genius of Charles and Ray Eames
    on / 2007


    … aus Filmen über Charles and Ray Eames

    Eames – the architect and the painter / Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey / 2011
    Charles and Ray Eames / H. Brandenburg / 1997
    901 Eames office after 45 years of working / Eames Demetrios / 1989


    …  und aus den folgenden Filmen von Charles und Ray Eames

    1977 Powers of Ten
    1973 Franklin & Jefferson Proposal Film
    1972 Banana Leaf
    1972 Cable: The Immediate Future
    1972 Design Q & A
    1972 SX-70
    1971 Clown Face
    1970 Circus
    1970 India
    1969 Tops
    1965 IBM at the Fair
    1965 View from the People Wall
    1964 House of Science
    1962 The House of Science
    1961 IBM Mathematics Peep Show
    1960 Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair
    1959 Glimpses of the USA
    1957 Do-nothing Machine
    1957 The Information Machine
    1957 Tops
    1957 Toccata for Toy Trains
    1955 House: After Five Years of Living
    1955 Textiles and Ornamental Arts of India
    1953 A Communications Primer
    1952 Parade, or Here They Come Down Our Street



    Film used as a tool
    Eine Auswahl von Filmen von Charles and Ray Eames


    Charles & Ray Eames used film as a “tool,” and asserted that their films were vessels for an idea. For them, the idea was more important than the medium. When one interviewer proposed that their films might be interpreted as experimental, Charles replied, “They’re not experimental films, they’re not really films. They’re just attempts to get across an idea.” Paul Schrader, in the lone academic article about their films, “Poetry of Ideas,” published in Film Quarterly in 1970, said, “The classic movie staple is the chase, and Eames’ films present a new kind of chase, a chase through a set of information in search of an Idea.”

    Poetry of Ideas, Paul Schrader, in Film Quarterly 1970


    Introduction Films of Charles and Ray Eames (7:11)


    The Films of Charles & Ray Eames

    Charles & Ray Eames were artists adept at an astonishing number of disciplines. They produced museum exhibitions, architecture, logotypes, toys, slide-shows, furniture, books, photography, paintings and over 100 films. However, their films are the least discussed of their output. One of the main reasons is the sheer difficulty in acquiring access to them. Only about a quarter of their films have been released on home video. They are one of the few American artists with an entire era named after them, but their films are rarely placed on a level with their furniture or architecture. And yet their films contain some of the most generous, sincere and original ideas of the century.

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    Design Questions+Answers (1972) 5:28


    A communications primer (1953)

    Anna Daly at Senses of Cinema describes it as follows: “Schematic diagrams and simple associations serve to highlight the message: clear communication betters humanity. The film is thus an accomplished work of design as well as being a beautifully composed documentary that brings an artist’s feel for colour and composition to the moving image, ensuring visual delight despite theoretical archaism.”

    Rezension in and ray eames

    A communications primer Transcript als pdf-Datei



    Tops (1969) 7:37

    Toys occupy several of the Eames films, including Tops (1969), a purely visual film that documents the short life span of a spinning top. It’s essentially a silent anthropological film and captures tops from different cultures and eras. The Eames Office contained a menagerie of toys, and it was Charles who once asked rhetorically, “Who would say that pleasure is not useful?” Both Toccata for Toy Trains and Tops are shot from the extreme perspectives of close-ups – an expressionistic technique that lets the audience experience toys as if from the eyes of a child.



    Solar Do-Nothing Machine (1957) 2:16



    Powers of Ten (1977) 9:02

    Powers of Ten (1977) is the Eames’ best known work and a culmination of many ideas and themes. It is also something of a skeleton key for understanding the rest of their work. It presents the profound idea of orders of magnitude, with the subtitle of the film being: A Film Dealing With the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero. The film was originally developed in 1968 and was entitled, A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing with the Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe. The “rough sketch” in the title is testament to the Eames’ penchant for perpetually iterative design. This is the case for many of their projects — Tops was initially made in black and white in 1957, and perfected 12 years later in color; the Eames Lounger was an idea 30 years in the making; Powers of Ten took so long to evolve that in the time it took to produce, science had broken through yet another power in the understanding of quantum physics.

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    Kepplers Law (1974) 2:53



    The Expanding Airport (1958) 9:26



    Fiberglass Chairs (1970) 8:45



    Eames Lounge Chair (1956) 2:08



    SX 70 Polaroid (1972) 10:51



    IBM Fair (1964) 7:33


    Filmografie Charles and Ray Eames

    1978 Cézanne (Documentary short)
    1978 Degas in the Metropolitan (Short)
    1978 Kites (Polavision Vignette) (Short)
    1978 Llisa Draws a Letter (Polavision Vignette) (Short)
    1978 Macbeth (Polavision Vignette) (Short)
    1978 Masks (Polavision Vignette) (Short)
    1978 Polavision Vignettes
    1978 Sonar One-Step (Short)
    1978 Vignettes for Polavision: The Chase (Short)
    1977 Daumier: Paris and the Spectator
    1977 Polavision (Short)
    1977 Powers of Ten (Documentary short)
    1977 The Look of America
    1976 Atlas (Short)
    1976 Paris: The Opening of an Exhibition (Documentary short)
    1976 Something About Photography (Short)
    1975 Metropolitan Overview (Short)
    1974 Callot (Short)
    1974 Kepler’s Laws (Documentary short)
    1973 Copernicus (Documentary short)
    1973 Exponents: A Study in Generalization (Short)
    1973 Franklin & Jefferson Proposal Film (Documentary short)
    1973 Two Laws of Algebra
    1972 Alpha (Short)
    1972 Banana Leaf (Short)
    1972 Cable: The Immediate Future (Short)
    1972 Computer Perspective (Documentary short)
    1972 Design Q & A (Documentary short)
    1972 SX-70 (Documentary)
    1971 Clown Face (Short)
    1971 Computer Landscape (Documentary short)
    1971 Johnny Peer’s Clown Face (Short)
    1971 Movie Sets (Documentary)
    1970 Cemeteries
    1970 Circus
    1970 India
    1970 Polyorchis Haplus (Documentary short)
    1970 Soft Pad (Short)
    1970 Tanks
    1970 The Black Ships (Short)
    1970 The Fiberglass Chairs: Something of How They Get the Way They Are (Documentary short)
    1969 Decorator Crab
    1969 Diatoms
    1969 Image of the City (Short)
    1969 Tops (Documentary short)
    1968 A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing with the Powers of Ten and the Relative Size of Things in the Universe (Documentary short)
    1968 Babbage
    1968 IBM Museum (Short)
    1968 The Lick Observatory
    1968 A Computer Glossary (Documentary short)
    1967 G.E.M.
    1967 National Fisheries Center and Aquarium (Short)
    1967 Picasso
    1967 Scheutz
    1966 Horizontes (Short)
    1965 Computer Day at Midvale (Short)
    1965 IBM at the Fair (Documentary short)
    1965 IBM Puppet Shows (Short)
    1965 Sherlock Holmes in the Singular Case of the Plural Green Mustache (Short)
    1965 The Smithsonian Institute (Documentary short)
    1965 View from the People Wall (Short)
    1965 Westinghouse in Alphabetical Order (Documentary short)
    1964 House of Science (Short)
    1964 Think (Short)
    1963 IBM Fair Presentation #2 (Short)
    1962 Before the Fair (Short)
    1962 IBM Fair Presentation #1 (Short)
    1962 The House of Science (Short)
    1962 Meet Me in St. Louis (Short)
    1962 Panic on Wall Street (Short)
    1962 San Francisco Fire (Short)
    1961 ECS (Short)
    1961 Eratosthenes (Documentary short)
    1961 IBM Mathematics Peep Show (Documentary short)
    1961 Something About Functions (Documentary short)
    1961 Symmetry (Documentary short)
    1961 Topology (Documentary short)
    1961 2n: A Story of the Power of Numbers (Short)
    1960 ‚Where Did You Go?‘ ‚Out.‘ ‚What Did You Do?‘ ‚Nothing.‘
    1960 Comics of the Fifties (Short)
    1960 Fifties Dead Sequence (Short)
    1960 Fifties Music Sequence (Short)
    1960 Gift from the Sea (Short)
    1960 Introduction to Feedback (Documentary short)
    1960 Kaleidoscope Jazz Chair (Short)
    1960 The Fabulous Fifties (Documentary)
    1959 Glimpses of the USA (Short)
    1959 Kaleidoscope Shop (Short)
    1958 De Gaulle Sketch (Short)
    1958 Herman Miller at the Brussels Worlds Fair (Short)
    1958 The Expanding Airport (Documentary short)
    1957 Day of the Dead (Documentary short)
    1957 Do-nothing Machine (Short)
    1957 The Information Machine (Documentary short)
    1957 Tops (Short)
    1957 Toccata for Toy Trains (Short)
    1956 Eames Lounge Chair (Documentary short)
    1955 House: After Five Years of Living (Documentary short)
    1955 Textiles and Ornamental Arts of India (Short)
    1955 Two Baroque Churches (Short)
    1954 S-73 (Short)
    1953 A Communications Primer (Documentary short)
    1953 Bread (Short)
    1953 Calligraphy (Short)
    1952 Blacktop: A Story of the Washing of a School Play Yard (Short)
    1952 Parade, or Here They Come Down Our Street (Short)
    1950 Traveling Boy (Short)