A Timeless Design

June 24, 2002
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Eames Demetrios is telling the story of his grandparents innovative design work.
GRAND RAPIDS — In 1945 the newly married Charles and Ray Eames faced an enviable dilemma. That year their molded plywood furniture had debuted to favorable reviews at the Museum of Modern Art, (MOMA) establishing them as modern designers of note. The molded plywood chair in that furniture group would someday be regarded as an icon of 20th century design. Now two furniture companies were showing an interest in taking over the manufacturing of the Eames’ designs: Knoll Associates and Herman Miller. The former company had the advantage of being owned by an old art school classmate of the Eames, Florence Schust Knoll, and her new husband, Hans Knoll; their Knoll Associates, with its international style cachet, might seem like the logical choice for the Eames. Herman Miller, by contrast, was a small, family-owned company, established by D.J. DePree in obscure Zeeland, Michigan. The Eames went with Herman Miller.
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