July 27, 2020

#6 Objects

Objects are not just things  

Jonathan Ive, responsible for the design of Apple's most successful products, talks in Objectified (Gary Hustwit's documentary) about the "curse" of the designer. "We spend our lives looking at things, typefaces, objects with designers' eyes. We constantly ask ourselves why is it made this way and not another. We design all the time, non-stop."

We all assume an infinite number of things when we see an object. What is it for, how it works, how much it costs. Rarely do we think about the designer behind it and when it happens it is only to insult him for some fault or to recognize some outstanding work. However many times the invisible design is the best design, the one that becomes so organic, logical and simple that makes us think it could not have been made any other way. 

Design doesn't have to be elitist, it doesn't have to be expensive, or draw attention to itself, just ask the Eames.

“The best for the most for the least”
Charles Eames

The architect and the painter

An architect who never really graduated and a painter who almost never painted are our heroes. The couple that transformed the design of the 20th century, and in our opinion, forever.

-The modern and trendy chairs you bought for your bachelor pad were designed by them 70 years ago.

-The ottoman armchair you've always loved and appears in every Hollywood movie, too.

“Art is the way you do your work, a result of your attitude toward it. Design is a full-time job,”

The titles architect, designer, artist, creative, are not descriptions of your work, but ways of seeing and relating to the world, be it a typography, a brand, a house, a work of art or an object. We agree.

It all started with a chair

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen won a contest organised by MoMA. 'Organic Chair' a reading chair impossible to produce with current technology (poorly designed?) took the first prize. 10 years later it saw the light of day.

80 years later, it's still being sold and still going strong (poorly designed?).

The Eames teamed up with Herman Miller, a furniture design and manufacturing firm, and together they developed several very successful collections. They became part of American culture.

Something new for a new society.

After many designs, sketches and prototypes came the Plywood chair. Herman Miller got the design and in 1946 it went into manufacture. It sold for US$ 25 each. Years later it was named 'the chair of the century' by TIME Magazine.

How much would they sell for in Palermo today?

The Eames undoubtedly brought us all closer to design, they invited us to be part of their world, by making chairs and furniture in an economical way to reach as many homes as possible. They shaped the design of the 20th century, and if not, take a look at the chair you are sitting on, or look around you. It won't be hard to find an Eames around.

Some other day we'll talk about the Eames house <3

Thanks for reading!

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