American designers Charles and Bernice “Ray” Eames are recognized for their significant contributions to modern furniture design and architecture. Their body of work was notable not only for its creativity and the ability to communicate complex themes via mediums like film but also the nearly tangible joy and enthusiasm that went into the couple's creative process. The Eames also contributed towards graphic and industrial design and fine art.
Born in 1907, Charles Eames's future contributions to modern design were evident early. He briefly attended Washington University in St. Louis before he was reportedly dismissed because his views were deemed too modern. It wasn't until 1930 that Charles joined forces with Charles Gray and launched his architectural practice. Eight years later Charles would receive an invitation from Eero Saarinen (son of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen) to study architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, eventually becoming a teacher and the head of the industrial design department.
Ray Keiser was born in 1912 and met Charles Eames at Cranbrook, eventually marrying in 1941. Upon moving to Los Angeles the couple would go on to create some of the most highly regarded and groundbreaking works in modern architecture, including the Sofa Compact and Molded Plymouth Chair, hailed as the “Best Design of the 20th Century” by Time Magazine. The couple is also responsible for the Eames House, considered a landmark of mid-20th century modern architecture.