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Charles Eames: What is design

Charles Eames: What is design

There is no designer more famous than the Eames. The duo, formed by husband and wife Charles and Ray, created some of the most iconic pieces of furniture in the history of the sector. Their collaboration with Vitra made the brand what it is now. The design of the Eames become legend between the industrial design lovers and their pieces are in all the important houses.

In 1969 they were invited to contribute to an exhibition in the ‘Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ in Paris. The exhibition, ‘Qu’est ce que le design?’, was exploring the meaning of design and its raison d’être.

Their contribution was formed by the exhibition of a series of their works and by an interview, in diagram form, that was discussing the significance of the design in the sector and in every day life.

What is design? ( by Eames)

The questions below were raised by Madame L. Amic, the answers by Charles Eames.

Q: What is your definition of ‘Design,’ Monsieur Eames?
A: One could describe Design as a plan for arranging elements to accomplish a particular purpose.

Q: Is Design an expression of art? 
A: I would rather say it’s an expression of purpose. It may, if it is good enough, later be judged as art.

Q: Is Design a craft for industrial purposes?
A: No, but Design may be a solution to some industrial problems.

Q: What are the boundaries of Design?
A: What are the boundaries of problems?

Q: Is Design a discipline that concerns itself with only one part of the environment?
A: No.

Q: Is it a method of general expression?
A: No. It is a method of action.

Q: Is Design a creation of an individual?
A: No, because to be realistic, one must always recognize the influence of those that have gone before.

Q: Is Design a creation of a group?
A: Very often.

Q: Is there a Design ethic?
A: There are always Design constraints, and these often imply an ethic.

Q: Does Design imply the idea of products that are necessarily useful?
A: Yes, even though the use might be very subtle.

Q: Is it able to cooperate in the creation of works reserved solely for pleasure?
A: Who would say that pleasure is not useful?

Q: Ought form to derive from the analysis of function?
A: The great risk here is that the analysis may be incomplete.

Q: Can the computer substitute for the Designer?
A: Probably, in some special cases, but usually the computer is an aid to the Designer.

Q: Does Design imply industrial manufacture?
A: Not necessarily.

Q: Is Design used to modify an old object through new techniques?
A: This is one kind of Design problem.

Q: Is Design used to fit up an existing model so that it is more attractive?
A: One doesn’t usually think of Design in this way.

Q: Is Design an element of industrial policy?
A: If Design constraints imply an ethic, and if industrial policy includes ethical principles, then yes – design is an element in an industrial policy.

Q: Does the creation of Design admit constraint?
A: Design depends largely on constraints.

Q: What constraints?
A: The sum of all constraints. Here is one of the few effective keys to the Design problem: the ability of the Designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible; his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints. Constraints of price, of size, of strength, of balance, of surface, of time, and so forth. Each problem has its own peculiar list.

Q: Does Design obey laws?
A: Aren’t constraints enough?

Q: Are there tendencies and schools in Design?
A: Yes, but these are more a measure of human limitations than of ideals.

Q: Is Design ephemeral?
A: Some needs are ephemeral. Most designs are ephemeral.

Q: Ought Design to tend towards the ephemeral or towards permanence?
A: Those needs and Designs that have a more universal quality tend toward relative permanence.

Q: How would you define yourself with respect to a decorator? an interior architect? a stylist?
A: I wouldn’t.

Q: To whom does Design address itself: to the greatest number? to the specialists or the enlightened amateur? to a privileged social class?
A: Design addresses itself to the need.

Q: After having answered all these questions, do you feel you have been able to practice the profession of ‘Design’ under satisfactory conditions, or even optimum conditions?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you been forced to accept compromises?
A: I don’t remember ever being forced to accept compromises, but I have willingly accepted constraints.

Q: What do you feel is the primary condition for the practice of Design and for its propagation?
A: A recognition of need.

Q: What is the future of Design?

No answer….

If you like the design of the Eames and are interested in great designers, why don’t you gives this post a go ….

The new Starbucks in Tokyo designed by Kengo Kuma

The new Starbucks in Tokyo designed by Kengo Kuma

Starbucks is redefining the concept of coffe house with their Reserve Roasteries.

Only available in a few cities around the world, the aim is to deliver more than a good cup of coffe.

Some of the shops are real piece of architectural art. The best example is the newly opened Reserve Roastery in Tokyo. Designed in collaboration with the world renowned local architect Kengo Kuma.

Starbucks Roastery Tokyo
Courtesy of Starbucks

The structure is cladded with cedar wood panels featuring hanging planters to create a buffer between the venue and the neighbouring residential properties.

The Starbucks Reserve’s logo at the top of the building provides the gravitas of a cross on a church, preparing the visitors to what they find inside.

The soft and warm timber feeling wraps the building inside/out creating a cosy environment. The space is pleasant to the senses and gives a spiritual vibe to the fabric.

Starbucks Roastery Tokyo
Courtesy of Starbucks

The interiors scream traditional crafmanship with the origami inspired faceted wooden ceiling and the cladded columns and counters.

In addition, a 17 m large copper cask dominates the scene and the attention and can be experienced by the costumers.

Starbucks Roastery Tokyo
Courtesy of Starbucks

Entrance leads to an open plan space which showcases the art of brewery. But the multi-storey building’s uniqueness is not only exhausted on the ground floor. A staircase guides through the second and third floors, where the visitor can experience a teavana bar and a cocktail bar. Here the tradition of japanese tea making joins the italian tradition on martini cocktails.

The Tokyo Roastery was inspired by the sakura trees (cherry blossoms) that can be found along the Meguro river and settling the building even more in the cultural roots of the city. Indeed it is providing an unique experience for the visitors.

Starbucks Roastery Tokyo
Courtesy of Starbucks

Let’s have a look here to discover more of the best architecture around.

Matthias Jung and his surreal world

Matthias Jung and his surreal world

Matthias Jung, from his home in Stuttgart, doesn’t happen to think that the life is self-evident, as he explain in the brief bio in the website, and he decided to project his peculiar vision of the reality in his architectural collages.

To the majority it would probably recall the fantastic creations of Miyazaki, with a pinch of love for composition and symmetry and pastel colors that are typical of certain contemporary movie authors as Wes Anderson.

Below a selection of his work.

His fantastic but unrealistic locations transport the user in a fable world where the weird and magic is just possible and appears so much so that it become indeed real.