Charles and Ray Eames were fascinated by elephants. Many images of these gentle giants are found in Charles' photographic documentations of Indian culture and the circus world. The Eames Plywood Elephant (1945) is among the plywood pieces designed by the Eameses and one of the most difficult to produce. In the early 1940s, they successfully developed an innovative method for molding plywood into three-dimensional shapes, which they used to produce a wide range of furniture and sculptural objects. To render the Elephant, tight angles and compound curves require a sophisticated mastery of plywood technology. It was so complicated that the full-size Plywood Elephant never went into production. Only two prototypes were made, both of which were displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in 1945 and 1946. Today only one known model remains in the possession of the Eames family. Vitra Design Museum has reproduced the Plywood Elephant at a scale of 1:6. True to the original pieces in structure and materials, the miniatures are precision-crafted, making them a thoughtful gift for a furniture lover or design professional. Each miniature comes handsomely packaged in a wood box with an informational booklet. Made in Poland.
Design is for living. That maxim shaped a widespread shift in design during the 1940s and 1950s. It was a revolution of form, an exciting visual language that signaled a new age and a fresh start and two of its prime movers were Charles and Ray Eames. The Eameses were a husband and wife team whose unique synergy led to a whole new look in furniture. Lean and modern. Sleek, sophisticated and simple. Beautifully functional.
Yet Charles and Ray Eames created more than a "look" with their bent plywood chairs or molded fiberglass seating. They had ideas about making a better world, one in which things were designed to fulfill the practical needs of ordinary people and bring greater simplicity and pleasure to our lives. Read more >