the Eames workshop
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The Eameses sought to foster universal understanding of socially beneficial science. To help people understand new technologies and their potential, they produced approximately sixty films, exhibitions, and books for such corporations as IBM, Boeing, Polaroid, and Westinghouse. Throughout their careers, the Eameses counted many scientists as colleagues and friends, joining their community as visual communicators.

A major theme in all the Eameses' scientific endeavors was the beauty and elegance of scientific principles and the tools used to study and convey them. Revealing science's complex integration of art, philosophy, and nature, the Eameses' films and exhibitions successfully related the unfamiliar aspects of science with familiar and comfortable facets of everyday life. These projects translated complex ideas into simple images to make them understandable to the lay person.

Production Art for Powers of Ten, circa 1977, mixed-media panels and reproductions. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (E-05)

Slides by the Eameses

Multi-screen slide shows were perhaps the Eameses most effective method for presenting everyday things in new ways and relationships. Encompassing an enormous breadth of subject matter, the slide shows were assembled for school courses and lectures as well as for corporate events. For these elaborate presentations, the Eameses drew upon their meticulously catalogued collection of approximately 350,000 slides: their very own “cabinet of curiosity.”

Correspondence among the Eames Office and the nation's top scientists indicates both the high level of technical expertise within the office as well as the collaborative nature of their scientific endeavors.

Powers of Ten Correspondence Between Staff Member Alex Funke and Dr. Jean-Paul Revel, July 22, 1977, photographic reproduction. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (E-02)

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The ultimate Eamesian expression of systems and connections, Powers of Ten explores the relative size of things from the microscopic to the cosmic. The 1977 film travels from an aerial view of a man in a Chicago park to the outer limits of the universe directly above him and back down into the microscopic world contained in the man's hand. Powers of Ten illustrates the universe as an arena of both continuity and change, of everyday picnics and cosmic mystery. The film also demonstrates the Eameses' ability to make science both fascinating and accessible.

These elaborately conceived and executed panels were created by the Eames Office for Powers of Ten. Forty-two large square images that mark the powers of ten were used in the production of the film and later reproduced for the 1982 book, Powers of Ten: A Book About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero, written by Philip Morrison, Phylis Morrison, and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames.

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