Iconic Designs: Eames and Le Corbusier

Last night I was so struck by the design of my Rod Lavers, I took a picture of them, and wrote about how I feel they’re an example of iconic design.

Well, the way my particular brand of ADD/OCD/ROTFLMAO works is that I’m now fixated on this idea, and am seeing (what I consider) iconic design all around me. Since what is mostly around me is my office (well, what’s mostly around me is an airplane/airport…and don’t think I’m not already contemplating how to weave those iconic designs into a future post), I took a couple pictures of what I’ve chosen to surround myself with:

Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

This chair is indisputably the best example of mid-century design. Charles and Ray Eames (it’s pronounced “aims,” by the way, like Ames Iowa or Willie Aames…you know from Eight is Enough, Chachi In Charge, etc.) just sort of changed everything when it comes to design.

I love the fact that the first one was made for that titan of style, Billy Wilder.

I further love that this is how Charles Eames described his goal for the chair: “a special refuge from the strains of modern living.”

There are people far more qualified than I to speak on them, but I can’t resist embedding the following little video as they use Miles’ “So What” as the bed music:

Find more videos like this on Global MediaCommunity

Le Corbusier: Basculant Chair LC1

I sort of have a thing for chairs, and just beside the Eames chair are these:

Charles Le Corbusier has had a massive impact on our world via his architecture and city planning.

My mind is calmed by his description of the houses that he designed as “[machines] for living in.” (Another great Le Corbusier quote: “Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois.”)

If you’ve read The Da Vinci Code (and, I guess, who hasn’t), you’ll appreciate the fact that Le Corbusier applied things like the “golden ratio” and Fibonacci numbers to his design work.

A note on why these icons of style are in my office, and not my house. My wonderful wife, who is far more evolved than I, is a vegetarian. While it’s hard (and sad) to imagine that I had a life before my wife came into it, I did. It was during this time that the cowhide chairs were purchased.

Understandably, they weren’t my wife’s favorite piece of furniture, and it’s a minor miracle that she was willing to overlook this and marry me any way. What constitutes “overlooking,” however, is not looking at them at all (except for when she comes to visit me in my office), and, hence their banishment to my office. (Secretly, I’m OK with this. It makes Marci happy, and it reduces the possibility that my young children will use them as a canvas for one of their creations. Shhh.)

As an aside, while this iconic design thing appears to be a new theme here on the blog. I’ve sort of written about it before:

Here’s a post that talks about the title/poster art of the great Saul Bass.

And, recently, I wrote about (and got some great comments on) the nexus of cover design and music.

I’m going to add the design category to these posts as well.

Do let me know what you think are iconic designs, and if you want to lounge/sit, come on by the office.

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  1. Chicago Private Equity’s avatar

    i bought a LC4 in pony for a friend in chicago a few months ago (what a ballsy gift!) at first he didn't know what to do with it and now he's using it as a reading chair and to sit in when he gets foot massages. the price really came down on these.

    http://www.interiorexpress.com/le-corbusier.html is where I got it. I know it's not original but I only have so much budget for gifts.


  2. George Howard’s avatar

    That's a lucky friend! Great gift.


    Sent from my iPad



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