Charles Ormond Eames, born in St. Louis, Missouri (1907 –1978) was an American designer, architect and film maker. Along with his wife and colleague Bernice "Ray" Kaiser Eames he is responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the field of architecture, furniture design, industrial design, manufacturing and the photographic arts. He studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis.
He opened his own office together with Charles M. Gray in 1930. In 1935 he founded another architectural firm with Robert T. Walsh. After receiving a fellowship in 1938 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, he moved to Michigan and joined the faculty the following year. In 1940, he and Eero Saarinen won first prize for their joint entry in the competition 'Organic Design in Home Furnishings' organised by the New York Museum of Modern Art. During the same year, Eames became head of the department of industrial design at Cranbrook, and in 1941 he married Ray Kaiser.
Ray Eames was born in Sacramento, California (1912–1988). She attended Bennett College in Millbrook, New York, and continued her studies in painting under Hans Hofmann through 1937. She matriculated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 and married Charles Eames the following year.
From 1941 to 1943, Charles and Ray Eames designed and developed stretchers and leg splints made of moulded plywood, and in 1946 they exhibited their experimental moulded plywood furniture at the New York Museum of Modern Art. The Herman Miller Company in Zeeland, Michigan, subsequently began to produce the Eameses' furniture designs.
Charles and Ray Eames have had a profound and lasting influence on furniture design. The furniture manufacturer Vitra began the production of their designs in 1957. Even today, their design philosophy continues to profoundly shape the company's values, orientation and goals.