a new addition to the eames legacy

The legacy of Ray and Charles Eames continues with the formation of a nonprofit organization called the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity. The news was announced by Chief Curator Llisa Demetrios, granddaughter of Ray and Charles, designer and Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, and President & CEO John Cary.

With a focus on the creative problem-solving of the designers, the new initiative aims to bring these lessons to  future generations of designers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. The institute will occupy both physical and digital spaces with an extensive archive at the Eames Ranch in Petaluma, California, and three online exhibitions on the Eames Institute website. ‘Through archival exhibitions, diverse storytelling, live events and other programming, the Institute will equip curious problem solvers with the inspiration and tools to tackle today’s challenges,’ reads the announcement.

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
Images courtesy of the Eames Institute

the Eames Collection

Tens of thousands of objects from the couple’s work and personal archives will be made widely available to the public for the first time as part of the Eames Institute. Housed at the Eames Ranch, the extensive collection will showcase Ray and Charles’ iterative process, deep well of curiosity, and love of discovery. Objects on display range from handmade prototypes and furniture components, to exhibit elements and folk art from around the globe.

‘Being able to share the legacy of Ray and Charles in this way, to showcase their incredible process and wide-angled vision of design, is the dream of a lifetime,’ explains Demetrios. ‘I hope the Institute’s efforts will help people find inspiration for solving problems in their own world.’

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
The most comprehensive and unique collection of Eames designs and related ephemera in the world

three online exhibitions

The first online exhibitions on the Eames Institute website focus on three distinct themes. ‘Before They Were the Eameses’ looks at the designers’ lives before they became an iconic duo; ‘Plywood During the War’ examines the newlywed’s experiments with plywood during World War II; ‘Form Follows Formulation’ explores the story of the iconic Eames Shell Chair

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
Chief Curator Llisa Demetrios and granddaughter of Ray and Charles

the eames ranch

The Eames Ranch will be the cornerstone of the Eames Institute, serving as an indoor and outdoor ‘living laboratory’. Designed by architect William Turnbull, the building was constructed in the mid-1990s by Charles Eames’ daughter and Llisa’s mother, Lucia Eames, as a residence and artist studio. 

‘I learned so much living here with my mother for twenty years, and got to see the wonder on people’s faces when they would experience this material first-hand,’ says Llisa Demetrios. ‘With the Institute and our new website, it’s so exciting to think about how many more people will get to share that experience, and for the legacy of my grandparents to evolve in surprising and delightful new directions.’

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
The Eames Ranch in Petaluma, California

‘Discovering the Eames’ as a young art student changed the trajectory of my life and their work continues to have a profound impact on me to this day,’ says lifelong Eames enthusiast Joe Gebbia, who provided seed funding for the establishment of the Eames Institute. ‘I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing organization working to share the lessons and legacy of Ray and Charles.’

The Eames Institute is led by President & CEO John Cary, Chief Curator Llisa Demetrios, and a team of museum professionals, agricultural and land stewards, and operations and program administrators. Despite operating independently, the new institute shares the same mission as the Eames Office and the Eames Foundation.

‘The Eames Institute will add a new facet to the network of organizations passionate about the Eameses work, and strengthen everyone’s overarching mission of preserving and sharing Charles and Ray’s creative legacy,’ says Eames Demetrios, Director of the Eames Office and Chairman of the Board of the Eames Foundation.

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
The ranch is a working farm, a residence, and an artist studio

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
The cornerstone of the Eames Institute

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Joe Gebbia at the ranch

Joe Gebbia at the ranch

New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers
New Eames Institute launches to inspire future generations of designers

project info:

name: The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity