• The Films of Charles and Ray Eames: A Universal Sense of Expectation
    Eric Schuldenfrei
    Routledge, 2015
    Eric Schuldenfrei

Charles and Ray Eames leaving for Moscow with the film reels of Glimpses of the USA, 1959, Los Angeles, CA. Courtesy of Eames Office.

By analyzing the films of Charles and Ray Eames in terms of a social strategy aimed at stimulating the creative capacity of every individual, this book examines their contribution toward defining America's national identity, trajectory, and discourse during the Cold War period. While industrialized manufacturing techniques caused an exaggerated dichotomy between production and consumption that led to the modern consumer society, this research reveals the ambition of the Eames to create a society in which every member becomes a producer of knowledge with the means to widely disseminate their ideas. Perceiving a transition in values within America, Charles and Ray Eames identified underlying social problems related to consumerism and indulgence, which they sought to address by creating a communication network that linked universities, governments, institutions, corporations, and the wider public together in order to engender alternative pedagogical models.

Eric Schuldenfrei is a designer focused on the relationships between urbanism, architecture, and art. Together with Marisa Yiu, he is a partner of ESKYIU, a studio that has been awarded the Architectural League Prize and featured in numerous biennales (Urban Pastoral at the Venice Biennale, Human Motor at the Ljubljana Biennale, and Mediated Labour at the Hong Kong Biennale). Past projects include an installation commissioned by Agnes Gund, president emerita of MoMA. Currently associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, Schuldenfrei received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University, and the Architectural Association, London. Together with Marisa Yiu, he edited the book Instant Culture and has published in Domus China, Thresholds, and Architectural Record. Schuldenfrei served as the curator of Exhibition, Education, Film, and Media Programs for the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Biennale (2009) and has presented his work at the International Design Alliance Congress, Harvard University Asia’s GSD, Cambridge University, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.