Tokyo Exhibit for Eames Office as The Firm Celebrates 80 Years

Tokyo Exhibit for Eames Office as The Firm Celebrates 80 Years

November 12, 2021

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By 

Catherine D. Ong

Charles and Beatrice “Ray” Eames were a husband and wife creative team, who established Eames Office in Los Angeles in 1941. They were, and still are, among the most influential American designers in the last century, widely popular for their groundbreaking innovations in industrial design, furniture design and manufacturing, architecture and photography. Even after their passing in 1978 and 1988 respectively, the studio continues to preserve and continue their legacy.

A recent inauguration of an exhibit at the Design Gallery Isetan The Space in Tokyo was held, in honor of Charles and Ray Eames’ incredible contribution to the history of design. Visitors of the exhibit will get to witness the Eameses’ body of work that includes architecture, textiles, furniture designs, films, books and even toys throughout 8 decades: during the couple’s height of activity with several collaborations together, Ray’s solo work after Charles’ passing and Eames Office’s more contemporary ongoing projects.

Photo by Ko Tsuchiya

The exhibit features the classical and original designs of the Eameses that have paved way and given influence over many of the pieces. The most famous ones include 1946 LCW Plywood Chair, the 1948 La Chaise, or the 1956 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. There are modern designs incorporated as well, highlighting collaborations with brands such as Ravensburger (“The Eames Puzzles”) and Reebok (“Monotone Pack” sneakers).

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“The Eames Office actively seeks to preserve historical work and create innovative designs and experiences that extend the Eames legacy into the future. We’re thrilled to be able to present iconic works alongside special projects and collaborations that continue to bring Charles and Ray’s powerful ideas to life today.”

Eames Demetrios, Director of the Eames Office

A 1:20 likeness of their most notable work, the Eames House, is presented in the exhibit, filled with intricate furnishings. Even one of their unfinished projects, the Modular House, is on display to showcase Charles and Ray’s artistry as a creative team. The Modular House was designed after aspects of the couple’s home. Its archived blueprints and photographs were used to create its own mini-scaled model, as shown here.

“The Modular House”
Photo by Mark Eggimann

Isetan is a department store that has been established since 1886, expanding throughout Japan and South East Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Singapore. The store has proudly featured Eames furniture and design starting 1961, becoming the first distributor to bring their pieces to the Japanese market, and has continued to do so over the years.

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Cover Photo by Ko Tsuchiya