Last weekend we visited one of my favorite places close to Freiburg, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. The current exhibition AN EAMES CELEBRATION was curated by the Barbican Gallery in London and is definitely worth a visit if you love mid-century design and furniture.
The Eames chairs have long been design icons in their own right and the new models by Vitra have equally become highly sought after pieces by design aficionados the world over. The beautiful smooth curves, vibrant colors and adaptable base of the chairs are what make them stand out. Today an expensive investment, the Eames Plastic Chair was originally designed to use cheaper materials, to fabricate a chair that would both be elegant and affordable. It was also the first chair to be mass produced. “The most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least” was what Charles and Ray Eames had in mind, not quite what the current pricing implies.
That’s what good design really should be. It should be functional and improve on the past. What in my opinion it shouldn’t be is a mere status symbol, a luxury for the few who can afford it. Great design should try to make a difference.
If you visit the exhibition with kids, don’t forget to check out Play Parade. An Eames exhibition for kids, located in a separate pavilion on the museum grounds.
If you want to hear more interesting ideas on the subject of affordable design and architecture, I recommend to listen to the 99% Invisible episode on USONIAN HOUSES.
An Eames Celebration is on until the 25th of February 2018. Go have a look!