Tuesday 18 October 2016

tables and triage

Before the design duo created furnishings that defined the Mid-Century Modern era, Charles and Ray Eames developed splints, prosthetics and a body litter (a stretcher, a gurney) for the US Navy ahead of America’s entry into World War II.
More on the Eames’ other surprising projects here and here. The skills honed in mass-producing these medical devices conferred on them the talent and feel for working plywood that was expressed a few years later in their iconic, undulating lounges. Every item in this chain, from the form-fitting splint that could protect a wounded leg to the classic chairs, reflects real homage to the human body and how it carries itself. Take a peek at the splints as part of an exhibition in Leeds courtesy of Hyperallergic that explores the place of sculpture and design in prosthetic limbs and the process of healing and making whole.