Lucia Eames, daughter of Charles Eames, passed away on 1st April this year. We are mourning the loss of a dear friend and our partner of many years who worked with us on the Eames Project.
After the death of Ray Eames (1988), she came into the Eames inheritance and took over the Eames Office. Together with Lucia and her son, Eames Demetrios, we were able to issue publications, create and design re-editions of Eames products and put on the Eames exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum. We have Lucia to thank that the Vitra Design Museum was able to inherit so much of the legacy left behind by Charles and Ray Eames. Our Eames collection was also enriched by gifts from Lucia. The Eames Office shall remain our contact for all questions relating to the work of Charles and Ray Eames. It is now run by Eames Demetrios. He and his siblings put together publications, presentations and exhibitions to spread the ideas of Charles and Ray Eames. They also look after the maintenance of the Eames House and make it open to the public.
Charles and Ray Eames were the great defining figures for Vitra. We have Lucia and her family to thank that the Eames bond was never broken. It is this bond and the security it gives us that allow us to continue exploring and disseminating the work of Charles and Ray Eames.
Almost no other animal is as popular as the elephant. Admired for its majestic size and loved because of its gentle nature, the elephant is an everyday presence in our lives – as a stuffed toy, storybook figure or heraldic animal. Charles and Ray Eames also succumbed to the pachyderm’s charm and developed a toy elephant made of plywood in 1945. However, this piece never went into production. Now manufactured in plastic, the Eames Elephant is available for the first time to the target group for which it was originally intended: children.
Whether as a sturdy indoor-outdoor toy or simply as an attractive object in a child’s room, this friendly looking animal with prominent, oversized ears will bring delight to children and parents alike.
GET YOUR OWN EAMES ELEPHANT HERE AT DECOROUS
Gedung Kemang 89
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 89, Kemang
The Masters chair is a powerful tribute to the three symbolic chairs, re-read and re-interpreted by the creative genius of Starck. The “Series 7″ by Arne Jacobsen, the “Tulip Armchair” by Eero Saarinen and the “Eiffel Chair” by Charles Eames interweave their unmistakable silhouettes into a sinuous hybrid giving life to a fusion of original and engaging styles.
On its four slim legs, the Masters chair is roomy and comfy. The special finish on the chair makes it feel sensual and velvety to the touch. The back of the chair is naturally its most distinctive feature, characterised by the fullness and empty spaces created by the curvaceous criss-crossing lines of three different backs which descend to meet at the seat edge.
The Masters is light, practical, comes in various colours and can be stacked and used outdoors as well. The Masters chair was honoured with the prestigious “2010 Good Design Award” presented by the Chicago Athenaeum – Museum of Architecture and Design. Get this iconic chair from Kartell only at DECOROUS!
Gedung Kemang 89
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 89 Jakarta Selatan
P. (021) 71794610
An Essay by Rolf Fehlbaum
When the pertinent legal and relational conditions are met, one can speak of a design original. This term means that a design – independent of its production date – was fabricated by the authorised manufacturer in the true spirit of the designer. These factors guarantee its authenticity. In the fine arts, it is clear what is meant by the terms “original“ and “copy“. With respect to the field of design, however, these words must be redefined.
Reproduction is an intrinsic aspect of design logic. In the field of design, the most prevalent misunderstanding of the term “original“ is that the only objects which deserve this designation are those that were manufactured during the earliest years of a design’s production. According to this interpretation, a Corbusier armchair from the year 1928 or an Eames Plywood Chair produced in 1946 would be originals, while the same models by Le Corbusier or Charles and Ray Eames from current production would be copies, regardless of who the manufacturer is.
Copyists adhere to this notion. They admit that they are copying the original designs, but claim that the licensed manufacturers of classic designs – i. e. the companies who own the copyright (in the above examples, Cassina for Le Corbusier and Vitra for Eames) – do the same thing. In their view, the “originals“ are the models from the earliest periods of production which are now found in museums and private collections, but not the present products by licensed manufacturers found in furniture stores.
This line of argument is faulty and misleading. Early examples of a design from the initial production phase are vintage objects. Rare and valuable, they are sought after by collectors because they represent the first expression of a new idea.
Such vintage pieces are originals, but the products designed by Le Corbusier or the Eameses and produced today by their legitimate manufacturers are also originals.
Why is this true? The intention of design is to solve a specific problem. Models from the early production phase represent an initial solution. Almost without exception, practical usage eventually reveals the need for improvements in specific aspects of a design. For the duration of their career, Charles and Ray Eames continued to develop and perfect their designs. The dimensions and materials of a product were changed, as well as individual parts (like glides, etc), when better solutions were found. From this perspective, an early production model is worthy of admiration, but outdated and in some cases even obsolete.
The term “original“, therefore, has nothing to do with the production date. The status of an original is determined by the relationship between the designer (or rightful heirs) and the manufacturer of the designer’s products. There is not only a legal component to this relationship, but also an immaterial one based on shared ideals and mutual cooperation.
For any product to be designated as an “original“, the originator of the design must have given the manufacturer the legal authorisation to produce it. Anyone who produces a design without legal permission is appropriating property that belongs to someone else. This applies not only to the manufacturer, but also to the consumer who buys an unlicensed product.
Equally important is the transcendent, relational connection between the designer and manufacturer. It is evident in their close cooperation at every step of the production process. Because the plagiarist does not have this relationship, there is always uncertainty about the degree to which the copy deviates from the original idea, whether for reasons of ignorance, carelessness or cost reduction.