Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames, arguably the 20th century’s most famous furniture designers, is the principal of the Eames Office, which sells merchandise related to the family’s namesake line of chairs and promotes their legacy. He answers a few questions in this edited interview with Kristiano Ang.
My grandmother said that what works good is better than what looks good. That’s because what looks good can change.
Newspaper put design stories in the style section, but style is different from design. Design is about problem-solving, addressing needs and working with constraints. I talk to a lot of young designers and say, “don’t worry about your style.” Take care of problems, and everything will take care of itself.
What inspires me is the richness and complexity of the world. It’s a completely magical phenomenon that includes humans, the built environment and the natural world.
My grandparents said the role of the designer is that of a good host and anticipating the needs of guests. This is a really beautiful idea. It puts the human being and their experience at the center of attention in a very pragmatic way. We’ve gotten into this habit that says design is different from function.