January 29, 2019

Your Eames Story Contest Winner

We are excited to announce that the winning entry was from Adam Weintraub AIA and Mishi Hosono AIA of New York, New York.

by OMCA Staff

In the final weeks of special exhibition, The World of Charles and Ray Eames, we invited you to tell us how Charles and Ray have impacted your life. Though the Your Eames Story Contest in collaboration with the Eames Office, we learned how Charles and Ray have brought inspiration and joy to generations. Thank you to all the participants. The winning entry is from Adam Weintraub AIA and Mishi Hosono AIA of New York, New York.

It would be hard to overstate the influence Charles and Ray Eames have had on our lives both personally as well as professionally. Short of moving to Santa Monica, we feel the Eames spirit is always guiding us. I had the good fortune to grow up on the campus of Cranbrook Academy of Art outside of Detroit and experienced the joys of Eames from an early age. I took for granted that chairs should be beautiful, functional, and sometimes colorful. My wife was growing up on the other side of the world in Tokyo. But she spent her summers in LA and absorbed the Eameses’ optimism, which she combined with her love of traditional Japanese design. 

When we met in architecture school, we subscribed to the Eames ideal that design can change lives. We filled our tiny first New York apartment with fiberglass Eames chairs discovered in a dumpster by a dentist’s office on Gramercy Park. Our first real paycheck went to buy an Eames Compact Sofa, and we thought we were the luckiest architects alive.

Years later when we got married, we searched and searched for a pastry chef who would make us a wedding cake in shape of the Eames House. We learned a bit too late that Case Study Houses are better built from steel and glass than buttercream. 

When we established our own Architecture studio, everyone advised us that we need to specialize in one building type. But we remembered Charles Eames warning against specialization. Keeping his words in mind, we have spent the last eighteen years designing everything from houses to playgrounds to children’s toys. Our first commission was a loft for a friend who instead of a design fee paid us with a low Eames bentwood chair. But perhaps we learned the most from the Eamses in taking our designs for children and children’s play very seriously. 

We named our first daughter Rei (at least we used the Japanese spelling). But when it came to our second daughter, we chose an even shorter Japanese name, Io. But since her nickname is 10, we often just tell everyone “Rei is named after Ray Eames, and Io is named after the Powers of Ten."

But sometimes it is the small things we have learned from the Eameses. Current trends in architecture tend to celebrate minimalism. But the personal collections filling the Eames House give us an excuse to fill our loft with favorite objects from around the world. Our Instagram ”aerial plan views” of our dinner table settings are Japanese versions of Ray’s careful compositions. 

In keeping with the Eames method of slideshow communication, perhaps it is better to simply pair images to tell our Eames Story.

Adam Weintraub AIA
Mishi Hosono AIA
Koko Architecture + Design

Don't miss special exhibition The World of Charles and Ray Eames, now on view through February 18, 2019.

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