Charles and Ray Eames
Eames Storage Unit
Issue Date: June 17, 2008
City: Santa Monica, CA
The Eames Storage Unit (ESU) introduced an appealing new design that also served a useful purpose. ESU made its debut at the “For Modern Living” exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Art in 1949. In keeping with the design team’s goal to make good design available to as many people as possible, the storage unit combined great style with materials that could be affordably mass-produced.
Functional as well as beautiful, ESU had interchangeable cases, cabinets, and drawer units that could be combined in a variety of ways to fit the owner’s needs. Equally at home in offices and residences, the versatile ESU was meant to be useful for storage or display in the dining room, living room, bedroom, den, and office.
Cabinet fronts were made from unusual “dimpled” plywood, and the drawer fronts and shelves from molded plywood. A series of steel supports made the shelving durable. ESU was first made available to the public in 1950. Produced by Herman Miller, it’s still available today.
In 2008, the Eames Storage Unit was featured on a 42¢ commemorative, one of 16 stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service to honor the contributions of Charles and Ray Eames to American design.