According to the Eames Office, this interview was originally created for an exhibition catalog, but three years later: “the Eameses transferred slides to film to make Design Q&A, which shows images of furniture, toys, exhibitions, films, and graphics created over the years by the Eames Office.”
Here’s the film in full, please spare 5 minutes and 29 seconds of your life to watch this. It’s really worth it:
So you’ve just watched it… now, aren’t you amazed and inspired? I’ve watched it sooo many times and I find new insights each time. I think it’s one of those rare perfect gems that was likely not over-worked but just formed whole.
You can feel the personable warmth combined with the clarity of thought and hand-made charm of the film to make something filled with wonder. Nature, people, society, technology, family, play, engineering, and home all find a place. While idealistic, the film doesn’t feel naive.
This film also embraces the progressiveness of the early 70’s, It does not side-step issues of technology, ethics, or the societal role of the designer — it simply re-contextualizes these into the abstract. Eames provides a humanist view of the designer in a world of constraints, the job of the designer is to learn about those constraints in order to provide a better solution. How equitable!
I am a UX Designer currently working in People Analytics, but I’ve been a working designer for more than 2 decades. While I’ve been perpetually learning about many aspects of design during that whole journey I feel like a turning point in my career was actually discovering this film. It has helped me to define my own mission as a designer, and it helps me stay focused on the human aspect of my work. To ensure I spend my time in conversation and to consider the application of my work as a service for others. It is bright, friendly, centered, curious, and playful — traits I’m sure we all aspire to.