Northern California. Looking back in my photo archives, I'm finding things from the past to share (here & there) in my ongoing blog. In 2010 I was part of an Exploratorium group invited for lunch with Lucia Eames at her home in Marin. The lunch table and meeting area were thoughtfully set up with inspiring elements.
More than a matter of stylish hosting, this is proof that a good design process begins and ends with the surrounding environment. We feed our process by creating a stimulating environment.
Lucia, our elegant and gracious host. Meeting her is a cherished memory for me!
The house is partly a private archive, containing various design prototypes, exhibition artifacts, photos and collections.
But this home is lived in, so for me the vicarious thrill of the personal environment was most alluring.
With the god-like status of the Eames, the experience is a bit like visiting a shrine. The homes of famous creatives are a form of voodoo, a brush with the legendary greatness.
Descriptive accolades of their work are endless; lean & modern, playful & functional, sleek, sophisticated, and beautifully simple, intelligent, thorough, experimental, energetic, worldly....ahead of their time in every way.
They are credited with an almost mythic integrity; and the ability to design every-which-way and on every level, seemlessly and simultaneously.
It's easy to see how they epitomize the ideal creative work/life attitude.
"In the end everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of connections is the key to quality itself" Charles Eames
As exhibition designers the Eames were early conduits for the science/art crossover. Famous for information rich environments honoring physics to mathematics to early computer technology. As a designer working on interactives at the Exploratorium, I was thrilled to see this old example:
It's interesting to consider that their charming and complex graphics would be considered too dense for today's design approach, inaccessible in some ways.
I couldn't photograph it, but i want to describe my favorite moment; looking into flat file drawers full of the tiny model people used in exhibition design models. They photographed a group of their friends, meticulously printed each of them at about 6 different scales in the darkroom, mounted them on cardboard and carefully cut around each figures. That's how they did things.