Lunch with Lucia Eames (California)

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.

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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.

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Lucia, our elegant and gracious host. Meeting her is a cherished memory for me!

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The house is partly a private archive, containing various design prototypes, exhibition artifacts, photos and collections.

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But this home is lived in, so for me the vicarious thrill of the personal environment was most alluring.

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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.

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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.

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They are credited with an almost mythic integrity; and the ability to design every-which-way and on every level, seemlessly and simultaneously.

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It's easy to see how they epitomize the ideal creative work/life attitude.

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"In the end everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of connections is the key to quality itself" Charles Eames

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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:

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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.

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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.