It’s been a while since Ray and Charles Eames set to fulfuill their purpose of designing and making the best products for the most people for the least (money and effort). The struggles, breakthrougs and the celebrated results (described thoroughly here by the Eames documentary) have since passed from being avantgarde to being classic items. And that has happened not only because of certain slick lines or versatily of style, but because of that industrial process embedded in the design that made it the ideal copy of itself.
The lemma – the best for the most for the least – seems to have lost its meaning on the way for the original model. It is no longer the best, as new technologies have improved chairs in all segments of use, it is no longer for the most or for the least, as the prices risen by its notoriety make it unaccessible to the large public. And here’s the paradox. An unlikely phenomenon makes the creed truer than ever, slightly out of its confortable original context. China. Wholesale, human rights infringing, industry driven China can get you the chair that could be like-the-original-ish for the price of a cinema pass. While it is available unarguably for the most for the least, the part about being the best I will leave to a debate made possible only by the relativism of globalisation. And if that is relative, the clean, initial design could forever be considered, by itself, the best.