A Communications Primer
USA, 1953
Charles and Ray Eames

16mm film reel in canister
11 × 1”

Between 1950 and 1982, Charles and Ray Eames/Eames Office produced over 125 films, beginning with abstracted and poignant meditations on various kinds of toys and later delving into mathematical concepts, computers, architecture, history and corporate-sponsored branding films for the likes of IBM, Polaroid and Boeing.

Much like their furniture designs, the Eames films aimed to “get the best to the most for the least…to reach the greatest number of people,” and prioritized clarity, approachability, and idealism over any romantic notions of tradition or pure innovation within the medium of film. The films were meant to have wide appeal and distilled complex ideas into efficient and orderly maxims that fit into the Eames aesthetic of simplicity, integrity and beauty of form.

This film is based on the 1949 book, The Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon and advocates breaking down the barriers between and creating a broader language among disciplines such as architecture, design and planning.

Film run time: 22 minutes. Color.

(Photo: Wright)