Charles and Ray Eames

Industrial designers

The creative designer couple who completely broke artistic boundaries in the 1950s. The special features of their designs lie in the structures, shapes and conditions used and serve as expressions of their passion for aesthetics paired with comfort. Their designs are not just about surface design, but also about the way they reinterpret familiar objects or concepts to convey a deeper message or meaning. A portrait of Charles and Ray Eames.

lounge chair; Source & Copyright: Vitra

lounge chair; Source & Copyright: Vitra

Design Story


Charles and Ray Eames

Well-known designs

La Chaise, the lounge chair


Minimalist, organic design with Bauhaus character and Finnish accents

Sustainable design

  • High quality materials that are durable and less prone to wear and breakage
  • Timeless designs that adapt to different styles and environments and therefore do not need to be replaced
  • Innovative manufacturing techniques that minimize material waste

Charles and Ray Eames: “the architect and the painter”

Charles Eames studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, while Bearnice Alexandra “Ray” Eames pursued painting at the May Friend Bennet School in Millbrook, New York. Their first designs were created after their wedding around 1941 using simple deformations of plywood. However, interrupted by the war, they initially limited themselves to producing greaves, stretchers and aircraft parts from molded plywood for the Navy.

The combination of art and architecture quickly proved to be an inspiring source of their creativity: just five years later, they presented their first furniture designs at the Museum of Modern Art. A classic in the field of furniture design is the lounge chair, in which the designer duo particularly dealt with the concepts of comfort and elegance. The couple also took part in the MoMA's “Low-Cost Furniture” competition with their design “La Chaise” , which is still one of the most established pieces of design in the furniture world today.

La chaise vitra

La Chaise, Source & Copyright: Vitra

Architectural genius merges with painterly sensitivity

Eames mainly used materials made of plywood, fiberglass, plastic, wire and aluminum for their designs. Their understated, minimalist designs feature features of Bauhaus design coupled with accents from the Finnish furniture tradition. The organic shapes, inspired by nature, with their curved lines show a natural attention to detail that is impressive without being intrusive. A harmonious combination of comfort and function was essential for Charles Eames at the time: he saw the separation of comfort and function as a decision between mind and feeling; for him both elements were essential.

Classics live on to this day

Charles Eames died on August 21, 1978. Exactly 10 years later to the day, so did Ray Eames. The designer couple's estate can still be found in the Vitra Design Museum today. After the deaths of the two designers, this museum presented the exhibition “The World of Charles and Ray Eames” in 1997/98 and “An Eames Celebration” in 2017/18.

But their designs remain alive: Even today, the designer duo's designs serve as a source of inspiration for many modern designers. Because the focus on the harmonious combination of comfort and function is more relevant than ever. The works of Charles and Ray Eames are still available today on respected platforms such as Vitra and enrich contemporary interiors.

Designer furniture as timeless elegance and sustainable functionality

In the world of design, interiors are not just utilitarian objects or a means to an end. With them you can also make an artistic statement in your own four walls. High-quality materials and precise workmanship promise timeless elegance and longevity. Anyone who owns a piece of designer furniture will most likely benefit from it forever. Purchasing a design classic requires a one-off investment, which in the best case scenario will last your entire life thanks to its particularly good quality and long service life.