Reed Kroloff, the Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, believes DPTV “designed” a perfect night of public television.
Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m., we celebrated the genius of Cranbrook’s Charles and Ray Eames and the legendary architect, Daniel Burnham.
10 p.m. – American Masters: Charles and Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Click on the links above to learn more.
We asked Mr. Kroloff to give us his insights into Eames and Burnham. Here are his thoughts:
I hope that, like me, you will be glued to your television this Thursday, September 27 for an evening of architecture and design on Detroit Public Television. Beginning at 9 p.m. with “Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City,” and followed at 10 p.m. with the American Masters presentation of “Eames, the Architect and the Painter,” your set will overflow with images and ideas that changed the way we all live.
Daniel Burnham helped invent the modern American city. Whether planning the great metropolis of the plains—Chicago, or searching for a proper language for that most American of inventions—the skyscraper, Burnham was a man of grand vision, and even grander ambition. His influence is still felt in cities from New York to San Francisco, and his most famous buildings remain landmarks nearly a century after they were built. “Make No Little Plans” traces the arc of his busy career, and paints a picture of the industriousness and fertile imagination that characterized the dawn of the 20th century.
“Eames” hits even closer to home for Michiganders. It is the story of the remarkable husband-and-wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames, who met and got their professional start right here in Detroit at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Working with many of the Academy’s most famous figures (including Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, and others), the Eames’s, more than anyone else, gave definition to modern design in America after World War II. But as this marvelous documentary shows, their iconic furniture is only part of a much larger tale. Ray and Charles were not only responsible for defining the style of the times; they helped the public come to terms with a modern world that seemed to be spinning ever faster around them. And behind it all is a love story that is both surprising and touching.
Taken together, these two programs offer a rare evening for those who love architecture and design and the powerful ideas that support them. I know where I’ll be Thursday starting at 9. I hope you’ll join me.
From Detroit Public Television WTVS Channel 56 and Detroit Performs:
Truly, the arts and sciences are serious fun. Enjoy the programs…and thanks, Reed!
9/27 – 10 p.m. AMERICAN MASTERS CHARLES & RAY EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER
Ray and Charles Eames are perhaps best remembered for mid-century modern furniture built from molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic,
From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America’s most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. Ray and Charles Eames are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum — offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, the Eames have risen to iconic status in American culture. But their influence on significant events and movements in American life — from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age — has been less widely understood.
9/27 – 9 pm – MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS: DANIEL BURNHAM AND THE AMERICAN CITY
The ideas of the architect and planner who shaped urban planning and our nation’s future ideas — what urban planning means in a democratic society
Few dreamers have had more impact on the American city than Daniel Hudson Burnham. He built some of the first skyscrapers in the world; directed construction of the World’s Columbian Exposition that helped inspire the City Beautiful Movement in towns across America; and created urban plans for San Francisco, Washington, DC, Chicago, Cleveland and Manila and Baguio City in the Philippines all before the modern profession of urban planning existed. MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS: DANIEL BURNHAM AND THE AMERICAN CITY is the first film to explore Burnham’s fascinating career and complex legacy as public debate continues today about how and for whom cities are planned.
The 15 Things Charles and Ray Eames Teach Us
Excerpt from: An essay by Keith Yamashita
1. Keep good company
2. Notice the ordinary
3. Preserve the ephemeral
4. Design not for the elite but for the masses
5. Explain it to a child
6. Get lost in the content
7. Get to the heart of the matter
8. Never tolerate “O.K. anything.”
9. Remember your responsibility as a storyteller
10. Zoom out
12. Prototype it
14. Make design your life… and life, your design.
15. Leave something behind.