Category Archives: design

Eames: work with conviction and enthusiasm

One of the most impressive scribbles to come from Charles Eames was a sort of Ven diagram which describes the intersection of a designer’s interests, a client’s desires and society’s concerns as the locus for a designer to work with conviction and enthusiasm:

Charles Eames’ diagram showing the intersection of designer, client and society’s interests.

The impressiveness of this scribble has almost nothing to do with how it’s drawn or what it looks like. The reason it’s impressive is because the ideas contained within it are so powerful and so useful that the graphics (and “typos”) become beside the point. I encourage you to click on this image and enlarge it. Read his notes. Download it for yourself.

At first this seems like something rather obvious, but it’s implications and significance will increased with time as you work in the “real world”. Personally, I came to keep a copy of this diagram tacked up on the wall behind my computer. I used it as a guidepost to help guide me when feeling unsure about how to proceed with a particular project.

Note the word “genuine” in item number two: “2. and this the area of genuine interest to the client.” Determining what is of genuine interest to a given client and what might superficially seem to be their interest is no easy task.

 

Charles and Ray Eames with some of Charles' advice regarding student learning.

Photograph of Charles and Ray Eames with excerpts of Charles’ advice regarding student learning.

 

Charles and Ray Eames lying flat on the ground outside their modernist home (with detached studio) with the structural metal bases for their chairs appearing to hold them in place as if their bodies had been "stapled" up onto a wall.

Charles and Ray Eames lying flat on the ground outside their modernist home (with detached studio) with the structural metal bases for their chairs appearing to hold them in place as if their bodies had been “stapled” up onto a wall.

 

Charles Eames in his studio with a Herman-Miller chair he designed.

Charles Eames in his studio with a Herman-Miller chair he designed.

 

Charles Eames with his "Solar Do-Nothing Machine."

Charles Eames with his “Solar Do-Nothing Machine.”

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