Fans of modern design and architecture may already be aware of the names Charles and Ray Eames. The American designers and husband and wife team have made huge contributions to the world of architecture and furniture, and Charles in particular has an interesting background. He studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, but left after he was considered ‘too modern’ for the course.
Many of their products, in particular their lounge designs, have gone on to become iconic pieces. The couple also contributed to films, like The Travelling Boy, exhibitions and architecture. Charles is also responsible for the banana leaf parable, a philosophy based on the idea that the banana leaf on its own is something that is commonly eaten off in Southern India, but with a little work it can become something particularly beautiful.
Charles explains further:
“But you can go beyond that and the guys that have not only means, but a certain amount of knowledge and understanding, go the next step and they eat off of a banana leaf. And I think that in these times when we fall back and regroup, that somehow or other, the banana leaf parable sort of got to get working there, because I’m not prepared to say that the banana leaf that one eats off of is the same as the other eats off of, but it’s that process that has happened within the man that changes the banana leaf. And as we attack these problems—and I hope and I expect that the total amount of energy used in this world is going to go from high to medium to a little bit lower—the banana leaf idea might have a great part in it.”
Thanks to Charles and Ray’s unique approaches to design, chairs like the Eames Leather Meeting Chair still look original decades on (Charles sadly passed away in 1978.)
We love finding designer classic like these and it always draws a tear when they get sold! Are you a fan of Charles Eames designs?