Kazam! The Furniture Experiments of Charles & Ray

Exhibition Overview


Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair

How were the furniture designs of Charles and Ray Eames actually created? The exhibition in the Schaudepot answers this question by presenting study models, experimental objects and prototypes. Kazam! puts a focus on the large collection of production pieces and furniture experiments from the Eames Office that entered the holdings of the Vitra Design Museum in 1988, along with later additions.

Today the Vitra Design Museum maintains the world’s largest collection of Eames objects, including iconic pieces like the Eames Lounge Chair, the sculptural seating object La Chaise, or vintage production models made of plywood, plastic, aluminium or wire.

Based on selected furniture models, the exhibition illustrates the development work of Charles and Ray Eames and shows how they repeatedly achieved new, groundbreaking solutions. One such solution is referred to in the unusual title of the exhibition: during the late 1940s, the couple constructed a machine in the kitchen of their Los Angeles apartment that could be used to mould plywood into three-dimensional shapes – the word »kazam!« was their imitation of the ear-splitting sound made by the machine.

Exhibition Highlights


Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair
Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair
Exhibition Highlights
Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair
© Eames Office LLC
Ray Eames sitting on an experimental lounge chair, 1946.0
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