At the New Permanent Eames Archive in California, You Can Deep-Dive Into the Design Process of Charles and Ray Through 40,000 Artifacts

From the moment that Charles Eames, formerly an architect and teacher, and Ray Eames, formerly a fine artist, began a shared design practice in 1941, they cultivated an unusually meticulous creative process: in lieu of drawings and schematics, they worked out ideas and solved problems in real-time by creating endless physical models and prototypes. It's no wonder, then, that until the Eames Office closed after Ray's death in 1988, they were able to rack up more than 40,000 artifacts of their design process — and also no wonder that it took the family nearly 25 years to catalog them and finally make them available for public viewing all in one place, at the newly opened Eames Archive in Richmond, California.
herman miller x hay eames

How Do You Remix the Most Iconic Furniture of All Time? Give it a Splash of Danish Color

Charles Eames once said that “the details are not the details — they make the product.” So, when Danish design brand HAY had the chance to collaborate with Herman Miller on a refresh of eight classic Eames pieces, we imagine the opportunity was as exciting as it was daunting: How do you take something so iconic and rework the defining nuances in your own style? The Eames Office has rarely let creative liberties be taken with these mid-century designs. But this collaboration, born out of mutual appreciation, features a revitalized color palette and some updated materials that feel utterly contemporary while remaining true to the originals.

Phillip Estlund’s Decoupaged Vintage Eames Shell Chairs

Phillip Estlund is a Greek-born, Florida- and NYC-based sculpture and collage artist who hit upon the idea for his series of hand-decoupaged vintage Eames chairs quite by accident: "I often work with imagery from field guides and books containing detailed images from nature," he explains. "As I was organizing cut-out images of flowers, I laid them out on several surfaces, including on the seat of my Herman Miller, Eames molded-fiberglass chair. The otherwise stark surface became immediately activated in a way that I hadn’t considered, and after arranging and adhering the flowers to the seat, the result was the Bloom Chair.”