eames institute pops up at herman miller NYC

eames institute pops up at herman miller nyc


The Eames Institute celebrates its first pop-up exhibition at the Herman Miller Flagship for NYCxDesign. The installation’s location is meaningful given the designers’ long relationship with the company which manufactures all Eames-designed furniture in the United States — especially the iconic Eames Chair and Ottoman, and the biomorphic shell chairs.


The Institute was founded by Charles Eames’ granddaughter Llisa Demetrios with AirBnB co-founder Joe Gebbia (see designboom’s coverage here), in celebration of the thousands of artifacts designed and accumulated by Charles and Ray and later collected by the family. These objects include iterative ‘sketches’ of furniture pieces, boxes of paper scraps, notes, polaroids, and especially toys. The Eames Institute is currently organizing and documenting this massive collection of small objects, and aims to formally show it all in a comprehensive display. This pop-up installation — on view until May 22nd — exemplifies such a display.




What are the boundaries of our problems?


While the Eames Institute (see here) installation at New York’s Herman Miller flagship (see here) transports viewers back in time, it’s also a reminder of the timelessness of the pair’s design processes — they explored design solutions to continually overcome the problems of their generation. The Institute notes that when Ray and Charles Eames were asked ‘What are the boundaries of design?’ they responded by turning the question on its head: ‘What are the boundaries of problems?‘ The duo overcame material shortages, and made good design simpler to fabricate and more accessible.


The institute celebrates this approach today as a source of inspiration for young designers faced with a new era of problems to be solved.





the window installations


The Eames Institute recently teamed up with Brooklyn-based Standard Issue Design (see more here) to create a series of three window displays for Herman Miller’s New York City flagship. Each street-facing exhibit highlights a different aspect of the Eameses’ philosophy and craft, including their explorations in molded plywood, their graphics, photography and film, and their highly iterative processes.