furniture as architecture

I was talking to a collector / design scholar friend about Charles and Ray Eames ESU designs, and while I LOVE the design and the look, I commented that the vintage pieces were very fragile and really not that useful because of their fragility, and if you cared about preserving them, or their value, they were best not used in an everyday way (this is probably why so few that were manufactured survived) and that also, when you place more than one or two objects or books on or in them, they you started to loose their visual appeal (to me). He said that was exactly it, don't put anything on them, or even use them, that they were (now) meant to be "interior architecture" and "little buildings around your house". I kinda liked that. So I treat this one as just that, a little building, an architectural sculpture, and every now and then, a place to stack a FEW books on the lower shelf (wouldn't want to block that perforated back zinc panel!) and maybe a set of keys in a bowl on top, but those drawers, forget about using them! This all makes total sense when you realize that the esu series was based on their own home, Case Study House #8.

Here are some shots of the house I took years ago. Even if you aren't familiar with the house, the furniture, or the Eameses, the influence is undeniable. The idea that you build a home, and that the design is so successful and functional, that you then take the same ideas, affordable materials, off the shelf hardware and a simple open plan, and use them for a line of furniture that then goes inside that same house, is brilliant....

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