I've noticed today, that quite a few people were coming here after googling Eamespunk, and it got me thinking. What if this thing really took off? That a throwaway line by Bruce Sterling would usher in a whole new meme. Boing Boing and Wired would start posting galleries of people modding their computers with bent plywood, and then the purists insisting that they must be mass produced and maybe even modular for it to be called true Eamespunk. This says nothing for those that got into Eames before it went all punk, but there's no point in being into anything unless it's post post modern (two orders of simulacrum at least for kids these days). The mid century modernists would get all up in arms at all these newcomers driving up the price of second hand chairs.
Couples would start making plywood chairs, and fabric patterns, and making their own modernist prefab homes that would have plenty of natural light (oh, people are already doing this). But then all the short stories would come out (or would that make it fan fiction?), chronicling the life of all encompassing genius design couples working in the forties, fifties and sixties and their holistic design ethos. Which is about the time the movement would move away from being a merely aesthetic exploit, and people would start believing in it.
Then serious writing entailing the lifestyle would begin, and serious magazines and newspapers would start writing it up, and it would get the credibility it would deserve. People will get angry that it's being brought out into the mainstream, and cry afoul that it has lost the spirit it once had (remember, double order simulacra; not the original). At some point the Eames foundation will try and get involved, or claim copyright, but they will all rise up and force the argument that it's everyones now, not just theirs.
Hell, people are already getting Eames dot pattern tattoos, so the wheels are already in motion for the hardcore set. Even House Industries are working on an Eames typeface project (everyone will just have to use Neutra while we wait). On other typographic lines, even H&FJ have coined Modpunk, which may give the movement some competition.
Better Living through Plywood
Who needs brass goggles and mirror shades when you can have wall size projector screens in bucky domes? Overturn the individualist agenda and share in media together! Collective humanist action will unify us while we are amazed at still slides of interesting details! The great medium of the slide will return to its former glory and the rich colours will return us to a time of wonder at the world. We will return the suburban home to the great importance it once had. The focus on the family as a unit will return, and we will design for them and their needs. And they will have a multitude of things to sit in. And they will be vastly more comfortable than temper-foam or leather upholstery. Soft curved humanist wood, with modern curves will form to your body. Enjoy the comfort! And the modular shelving systems will enable them to display their books or typewriters and maybe even vases. Post War enthusiasm will return my friends. Pavilions and fairs demonstrating the latest in plastics and molded plywood will bring amazement back into your hearts. Who needs cyberspace or the great aether when we will have the house of cards. Interchangeable modules of information, slotting different electric modules of knowledge together. The great consensual hallucination will be made from card and be in your hands.
Different constellations and connections will allow us to understand humanity. As we navigate these connections, we will realise the length that we have come, from the atom, to the galaxy, our humanity will become apparent. The experience that is life will be mediated through the choices we make with these cards. As we slot different cards with different cards, we will pursue a path of our humanity. And our backs, our whole body will rest at ease, and sometimes with our legs up on an ottoman.
We will take our pleasures seriously. We will remember that everything connects. We will live and breathe powers of ten. We will accept constraints, but we will never accept compromise. By learning of the process of problem solving we will structure the information to be conveyed. No detail is insignificant, the detail will make the design. We will learn that the process of arriving at the solution is what counts. By separating sciences from the arts, the hand and the machine, work and play, we only cheapen our experience, the human experience. By integrating parts into a meaningful whole, we understand the connections.
With sincerest apologies to Charles, Ray, and the Eames Foundation.
Colophon: I've posted some of these pictures in larger form on my flickr, more to come.
If anyone is interested in pushing this silly thing any further, I am all ears. Hell, I'm thinking of copying some of their Herman Miller graphics. No point in not ruining a good thing I say.