Did you know? By 1952, Charles & Ray Eames had fabricated roughly 200,000 radio cases for a range of different companies. However, one model – their personal favorite – never went into production and more than 70 years after it was first designed, Vitra joined the Eames Office to revive the unproduced and unreleased Eames Radio from 1946. designboom met Eames Demetrius, grandson of Charles and Ray and director of the Eames Office, for an interview.
Indeed, soon after, they began partnerships with Herman Miller and Vitra, where they could develop production techniques and then collaborate on further improvement as production went on - a process that never really ended. And it is a role the Eames office relishes to this day. I have no doubt Charles & Ray improved enclosure designs they were given in order to optimize the technique, a process that showed them there were much better and technology-appropriate radios to be made with this same technique. And so, naturally, they designed such things (including what we have done now) and published them to get the ideas out into the world!
In addition, Charles & Ray were always trying to improve their designs and products and we continue that. Now we are actually quite conservative. Where we offer improvement is not so often in form, but in materials. More eco-friendly glues and practices. Responding to changes in standards. People often say to me, ‘Well, we don’t know what Charles & Ray would have done’ — actually we do. They did it. They asked the family to make these choices and empowered us fully to do so.Design is a matter of surrendering to the journey — and the journey continues as long as the pieces are relevant.