June 17, 2011, would have been Charles Eames’ 104th birthday, so maybe the question should have been, “can you stand to see 104 in a row?”—I don’t think Charles would have shied away from a few more.
Charles saw his challenge as balancing craft (beauty) with industrial process (make-ability), a challenge that he worked hard to answer in all of his work. If the design was too heavy in one direction, it didn’t work. For me, the Eames molded plastic chair is Charles’ best answer to his own question.
Durable, colorful, and economical, the molded plastic chair became ubiquitous. I sat in them at school, at church, and even while I waited with my mother at the post office. They are beautiful around a dining table or, quite literally, “100 in a row” since they can gang together. Launched in 1950 and still in production today, the chair has withstood the test of time—proof of successful “balance.”
Checkout Lifework for a cool video of Eames Demetrios talking about his grandfather’s legacy.