Aside from the memory of the giant eucalyptus trees surrounding the property (and the smell of their fallen leaves, in beautifully coloured stages of life), there were a couple of notions that have really stuck with me since my visit to The Eames House…
The first was a quote from Alex Funke, that read, “If you want to define the thing that drove [Charles] or drive his relationship to his work—it was what he called the Guest/Host relationship. He maintained that it existed everywhere: it existed in a nomad’s tent; it existed when the clowns came out and did the walk-around in a circus; it existed when your client walked into your office; it existed when you brought the lights down and rolled the film; it existed in every aspect of life and work… The Guest/Host relationship was tremendously powerful and tremendously significant… It’s seen in all of his work.”
The second was a story board of images that showed the Eames House’s living space in various different arrangements. Instead of sticking to a standard living room set-up, Ray and Charles used their living room and the accompanying furniture as a transient space, always ready to be shifted and re-positioned for the betterment of its occupants and guests. I also admired the way they arranged a certain collection of objects on the floor, instantly inviting you head down to the rug and tinker around with shapely and tactile pieces, all of which were carefully considered too, because life is perhaps more fun on the floor… This explains their desire to hang one of their treasured paintings upside down and horizontal to the floor – ideal viewing if you were to be lying on their rug.
I guess it was this kind of attention to creating a way of life, rather than a space, that really stood out to me. Where function and fun were valued as important as each other.