When Charles and Ray Eames landed on the final design for a piece of furniture, their work was only just beginning. They were also the architects of how to manufacture, test, and—perhaps most importantly—sell it. Over their 40-plus-year relationship with Herman Miller, the Eames Office touched nearly everything. They designed showrooms in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles; graphics for the company’s iconic catalogs, brochures, and advertisements; and presentations to demonstrate the new and innovative products they developed.
For a few of those products, Charles and Ray also explored what would become their favorite way to deliver information: film.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Eames Office produced over 125 films. Several of those films were produced for Herman Miller and represent some of the Eameses’ early forays into filmmaking. Three recently preserved films—S-73 Sofa Compact, Soft Pad, and Fiberglass Chairs—Something of How They Get the Way They Are—are essentially Eames. They’re cheerful and charming, informative and innovative ... instructing viewers not just how the products work, but also what they might mean to the lives of the people who use them.