Small Object of Desire #93 – Powers of Ten

Most people recognise the names of husband and wife design duo Charles and Ray Eames because of their classic furniture designs. Pieces such as this have become very familiar to us as design classics:

eames-lounge-chair-640x357-1But the Eames also had a huge impact on modern architecture, industrial and graphic design, manufacturing and, even turned their minds to devising puzzles, toys, puzzles, exhibitions and magazine covers. But it’s their filmmaking talents I’m interested in today.

This classic film from 1977 uses the simple formula of a magnitude of ten to show usĀ  two extreme perspectives. Zooming out intergalatically and then magnifying into the deep molecular levels of human body, it contextualises our place in relation to the rest of the universe.

Nearly 50 years later, it hasn’t lost its power to express complex ideas very simply. The Eames weren’t filmmakers per se but this documentary is a testament to one of the basic tenets of their design philosophy which held that innovation had to be the last resort.

Charles and Ray Eames – 1977 Power of Ten from Keith Kennon on Vimeo.