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haute école d'Art et de design Genève Geneva university of art and design

Re-Think the Eames / Milano 2013

Re-Think the Eames La HEad – Genève au salon international du meuble de milan 9-14 avril 2013, Ventura Lambrate lire

Wednesday 3 April 2013

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Salone internazionale del Mobile, Milano 9-14 April 2013
Ventura Lambrate | Via Sbodio 30-6 | 20134 Milano

Geneva University for Art & Design (HEAD – Geneva) will be at the Salone internazionale del Mobile, the largest design fair in the world, from April 9 to 14, in Ventura Lambrate district, where emerging talents meet the biggest designers in the world. On this occasion, the students of the Master in Design are revisiting the tradition of educational multimedia spectacles, building on the 1964 Think Theater by Charles & Ray Eames. They are reinventing a contemporary installation, an immersive multi-screen environment, showcasing 700 unreleased images from the collection of the legendary couple.

At the New York World’s Fair in 1964, inside an ovoid structure specially designed for the occasion by the Saarinen agency, husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames, America’s most famous designers couple, presented the Think Theater. An imposing space covered with 22 geometric screens of varying dimensions, it offered an unrivalled spectacle to visitors, who discovered inside a cascade of simultaneous images and films. Like Futurama, where visitors travelled effortlessly through Bel Geddes’ landscape of the future seated comfortably in wing chairs placed on a conveyor belt in the General Motors pavilion of the 1939 World’s Fair, Think boldly combined entertainment and education.

While everyone knows the Eames for their exceptional furniture, ranging from the DAR and the ESU to splints for soldiers during the World War II, and from their two private architectures in Santa Monica for Arts & Architecture to educational and artistic films produced from 1939, the couple’s photographic production, consisting of more than 750,000 pictures, far from being documentary, constitutes both an exceptional body of work and a first step towards grasping the holistic dimension of design according to the Eames.

From the archives of the Eames Foundation, Alexandra Midal, professor in charge of the MA Design programme at the HEAD – Geneva, has selected 700 pictures. The majority of these images are previously unseen and include the “making of” of their best known film “Powers of Ten” together with those of films produced by their friend Billy Wilder (Ace in The Hole, Sabrina, etc) featuring Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Audrey Hepburn, which Charles Eames liked to show during his talks on design, as well as shots of marine wildlife taken for their film Tank and glimpses of their workaday life in the famous 901 hangar in Santa Monica.

With Re-Think the Eames, Master Design students are revisiting this tradition of educational multimedia spectacles and have invented a contemporary installation, which takes the form of an immersive multi-screen environment showcasing these 700 exceptional images, presented for the first time.

Connected to the Design Project Room, the HEAD design exhibition space in Geneva, the film about the fair produced by the Eames two years later, View from the People Wall, is projected continuously in a specially designed cinematographic environment. Equipped with a communicating wall, the two spaces, and the two cities of Geneva and Milan, maintain a real-time dialogue.

An application designed by the Media Design Master’s course also provides an opportunity to see the interview with Eames Demetrios (the couple’s grandson and Director of the Eames Foundation), who provides insight into the images presented in Re-Think the Eames.

After the exhibition, a critical and theoretical work, including original lecture notes by Charles Eames, will be the subject of a workshop at Head – Geneva.

Salone internazionale del Mobile, Milano, Tuesday 9 to Sunday 14 April 2013
Ventura Lambrate | Via Sbodio 30-6 | 20134 Milano | 10 am to 8 pm
Tram 23,33, Bus 54,75, MM2 Lambrate

An exhibition designed by Master Design students at Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD – Geneva)
Exhibition Curator: Alexandra Midal
Workshop directed by Nitzan Cohen and Dominic Robson
Opening & Cocktail Wednesday 10 April at 6 pm

At the same time:
View from the People Wall, Re-think the Eames
Design Project Room, Head – Genève (Bâtiment Prairie), rue de Lyon 22, 1202 Genève
Exhibition from 9 April to 31 May 2013.
Open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 2 pm to 7 pm and on appointment.