make yourself comfortable on an eames sofa compact and watch these “why man creates” films.
Art & Copy
Debuting on the official Sundance Film Festival 2009 selection, Art & Copy is about advertising and inspiration, revealing the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time. Documentary audiences will remember Doug Pray from his award-winning stable of films including Hype!, Scratch and Surfwise. (89 minutes)
Directed by Gary Hustwit, Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. (75 minutes)
Directed by Gary Hustwit, Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. (80 minutes)
Why Man Creates
Directed by Saul Bass, this classic 1968 animated documentary film is a series of explorations, episodes and comments on creativity by a master of conceptual design. Humor, satire and irony are combined with serious questions about the creative process and how it comes into play for different individuals. (29 minutes)
Directed by Parthiv Shah, this exploration of the Indian city examines the architecture, people who live in it, social and cultural aspects and contemporary situation. Ahmedabad is renowned for its international architecture by the likes of Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier, Bernard Kohn, Charles Correa and BV Doshi. (28 minutes)
Charles & Ray Eames films
This 1972 interview with Ray and Charles Eames is one of the most concise, witty statements about design ever put on film. (5 minutes)
A short film made in 1956 showing the assembly of the iconic Lounge Chair at speed. (2 minutes)
Made in 1954, this film charmingly traces the design and development of the fold-up Sofa Compact. (10 minutes) article author’s note: we have two sofa compacts and they do not fold up.
Made in 1967, this film is about designing a national aquarium. (10 minutes)
Toccatta for Toy Trains
Made in 1957, vintage toy trains make a joyful journey through a treasury of toy people, props and scenery. (13 minutes)
A Communications Primer
Made in 1953 for IBM, this instructional film shows that films can be approached as a design exercise. (23 minutes)
IBM Math Peep Shows
Made in 1961 for the Mathematica exhibition, these five films are each a succinct and poignant presentation of a single mathematical concept, mostly through animation with voice-over narration. (10 minutes)
House: After Five Years of Living
The Eames House was built using only standard materials available through catalogues. Made in 1955, this film is a personal slide tour of the building. (10 minutes)
Textiles and Ornamental Arts of India
Made in 1955, this is a film record of an exhibition, designed and installed by Alexander Girard from material selected by Girard and Edgar Kaufman. (12 minutes)
Made in 1971, this film discusses “the new covetables” and looks at one of the Eames’ legendary three-screen slide shows. (6 minutes)
Eames Demetrios films
The process of making the classic aluminum Navy Chair by Emeco. Sheets of aluminum become a single piece of light, comfortable metal. (3 minutes)
A brief vignette gives us insight into Philippe Starck’s design approach and process. (3 minutes)
901: After 45 Years of Working
This short film is a powerful record of Ray and Charles Eames’s famed design space at 901 Washington Blvd in Venice, California. (28 minutes)
About Samuel Mockbee’s Rural Studio project, students design and build extraordinary homes and structures for the rural poor. They learn by doing and give their clients landmarks of contemporary architecture. (16 minutes)
About Frank Gehry designing a chair, this film is a beautiful of expression of the iterative process of design. The remarkable architect shows us how prototype after prototype leads to a deeper understanding of materials. (15 minutes)
A Gathering of Elephants
An animated celebration of the molded plywood elephants that Charles and Ray Eames designed for their daughter, Lucia. (6 minutes)
Few chairs are as iconic as Charles and Ray Eames’s Lounge Chair. Learn about the ideas behind the classic – such as the Eames philosophy of the guest-host relationship. (8 minutes)
Eames Aluminum Group
The Eames Aluminum Group is an icon of contemporary design and expresses the elegant Eames philosophy of Way-It-Should-Be-Ness, a belief both radical and humble. (9 minutes)
South African films
Pioneering film documentation of South African creative industries, the Headwrap series by Plexus films challenged local creatives from different cultural backgrounds and creative genres to collaborate. “Headwrap is doing more than merely showcasing local talent; it’s exploiting an artistic platform to indirectly tackle SA’s social schisms — gulfs that transcend gender, race and class,” wrote Business Day.
Animation & Sculpture – Jeremy Puren and Rebecca Matibe
Directed by Dylan Valley. Specialising in multi-media stop frame animation, Jeremy Puren travels to Limpopo to meet and collaborate with traditional ceramicist Rebecca Matibe.
Spoken Word & Performance – Malika Ndlovu and Peter van Heerden
Directed by Llewelyn Roderick. Malika Ndlovu, feminist spoken word poet and musician, is rarely stumped for words. This is until she first views controversial performance artist Peter van Heerden’s hard-hitting piece about abuse against women and children. The two find a middle ground through collaboration.
Fashion Across the Generation Gap – Sista Bucks and Athi Patra Ruga
Directed by Miki Redelinghuys. Athi Patra Ruga is an up-and-coming young fashion designer who collaborates with Sister Bucks (or Meisie Mosemane), a regal designer, firmly rooted in Africa.
Ceramix – Andile Dyalvane and Hilton Nel
Directed by Lauren Groeneweld. Ceramicist Hylton Nel treats his plates and bowls as three-dimensional canvases. He collaborates with contemporary young ceramicist Andile Dyalvane who draws inspiration from his Xhosa heritage.
Dance & Kinetic Sculpture – Mduduzi Nyembe and Justin Fiske
Directed by Llewelyn Roderick. Mduduzi Nyembe is a new breed of dancer who feels a calling to use the expressive and non-verbal power of movement. He collaborates with Justin Fiske, a kinetic sculptor who creates works using stones and pebbles suspended on string.
Conceptual Art & Music – Blk Jks and Lerato Shadi
Directed by Dylan Valley. The Blk Jks rock – that’s not up for debate. Lerato Shadi is a multi-media performance artist. Both have questions about each other’s work, but find something to share.
Sound Artist & Dance – James Webb and Dawn Langdown
Directed by Benitha Vlok. Choreographer Dawn Langdown embodies the spirit of Namaqualand. She is tough, spirited and enigmatic. A pioneer of sound-inspired art, James Webb’s installations move into a realm of art that has meaning beyond the obvious. See what happens when James leaves the urban high-tech comforts of Cape Town and has to work with the raw reality of the forgotten dancers of Okiep.
Graffiti & Advertising – Falko and Vega Brand School
Directed by Lauren Groeneweld. Falko is one of Cape Town’s most respected and experienced graffiti artists, who works both nationally and internationally. He collaborates with a team of up-and-coming bright sparks from the Vega Brand School in Cape Town to re-brand the stereotypical views of the Cape Flats.