Before visiting The World of Charles and Ray Eames exhibition, I was under the impression that they were only famous for their chair designs and the Eames house. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they were very multitalented in many aspects of design, not only furniture and interior design, but architecture, photography, graphics, art, fabrics and film making. My opinion of their work felt very positive as through their work, the Eames’ seem to convey a sense of optimism and enjoyment in what they do.
I also learned that the Eames’ produced multiple chair designs in a wide variety of materials including plywood, plastic reinforced fibreglass and metal in many different colours and coverings. As I walked around the exhibition, I saw many chair designs that on reflection and carrying out some research were really innovative designs at the time and are some of the best from the 20th Century.
The plywood prototypes next to the finished Eames’ chairs were some of my favourite pieces as it almost takes you on a journey from prototype to production and the finished chair. I thought that the prototypes were just as beautiful as the end result. I liked how the design has been considered in both form and function
Relationships between Aesthetic and Functional Design
One of the design pieces that struck me in the Barbican exhibition in relation to aesthetic and functional design was their plywood chairs that are aesthetically beautiful while serving a function. The aesthetics of the chair form perfectly flowing curves, almost feminine looking while supporting the function, functionally these curves fit ergonomically to the human figure when sitting down. As with a lot of the Eames’ designs, the form and function complement each other really well. Their prototypes and finished chairs are equally as beautiful.
The same can be said for any of the Eames’ chair designs, whether compound curved moulded plywood, fibreglass reinforced plastic or their metal mesh chairs, they all have a very similar curvaceous almost feminine aesthetic while remaining comfortable to sit in ergonomically.