Charles and Ray Eames’ studio in LA was the place for some of the most creative work and ideas to be thought up and built in America from 1950’s to 1978. Their studio was really an extension and expression of the two creative minds that worked there along with their talented designers. the Architect (Charles) and the Painter (Ray) saw the world through those perspectives. What really strikes me about their studio was that it seemed to be a place that not only fostered ideas but encouraged creativity throughout the space. They built and environment for creative thinking. They seemed to naturally know that the space they worked in would influence their thoughts and should be made to work that way.
Just looking at the layout and openness of the space it is easy to see how ideas could be generated and experimented with quickly and easily. The chance to reorganize the space to suit the project was a common theme to the Eames. They were constantly rearranging the space. They would be jumping from filming a creative vignette, taking photos, making a model for a huge exhibition, to designing another Herman Miller Chair. Around the walls were inspiration and a certain amount of random clutter, that allowed the chance pollination of ideas across different themes. The opportunity for inspiration is very apparent and the ability to jump into to sketching or making something is always at hand. The Eames studio really allows a creative mind to stroll freely around the space and be inspired. There is no doubting the effect it had on the work they produced from films to products. The Eames studio was a power house of creativity during their time and I believe the environment they created for themselves went along way to helping this process.
Of course by today’s standards this doesn’t seem anything particularly new, but at the time it was very forward thinking. The Eames’ studio ideal is still used and encouraged at design studios all over the World today. The openness to be expressive and the tools to be creative. The ability to rapidly build something or sketch out ideas is something that design agencies still encourage in their spaces. The realization is that being playful and encouraging mixed conversations can really improve the creative mind and lead to interesting insights.
I think the environment that people work in greatly affects the creative ability to think and be innovative. I think that the Eames studio and philosophy to build a playful and interactive environment proved itself over and over again during their career and helped them fulfill their imaginative ability to make all manner of things, giving them a space to release their inner creative mind. Their products have stood the test of time and still today are bought and admired by people with an eye for good design.
You can watch a documentary film about the Eames and see the environment they created for themselves here.