As Charles Eames was very interested in architecture from a young age, he was influenced greatly by the Finnish architect called Eliel Saarinen who designed a lot of Art Deco buildings during the 20thCentury. Charles Eames along with Ray Eames had the opportunity to collaborate with him on design projects and Eliel Saarinen along with his son Eero Saarinen contributed towards influencing their furniture design.
For Ray Eames, although a lot of inspiration and her eye for colour came from her work with Hans Hoffman, she was largely inspired by her husband Ray and his work with moulded plywood.
In a way, I believe that the inspired and complemented each other. Charles inspired Ray as soon as they met at Cranbrook Art Academy where she helped Charles and Eero Saarinen with moulded plywood projects which later became one of the Eames’ main focuses. Ray inspired Charles through her eye for colour as Charles depended a lot on Rays aesthetic genius when it came to colour. Charles apparently did not have as much as an eye for colour as Ray did, so he always deferred to her opinions.
Both Charles and Ray Eames were inspired by many aspects of the design world. Clearly one of their key inspirations was materials such as the plywood, plastics and metals along with the processes that came with them when designing their furniture. Additionally, they were inspired by economical aspects of design that sparked their creativity in coming up with high quality furniture that was accessible and affordable to everyone. Other inspirations include sustainability and possibly biophilic design along with the materials, processes and economical design. This is especially evident in their redesign of Case Study House #8.