“I hesitate to use the word fate,” writes Adam Leveille in a winning essay on how the work of Charles and Ray Eames changed his life. “Although I can’t think of another way an Eames chair would end up at a garbage dump in rural New Hampshire.”
Leveille, of Somerville, Massachusetts, was writing for an essay contest sponsored jointly by the Eames Office and the Barbican Centre in London as part of the latter’s exhibit, “The World of Charles and Ray Eames,” which closed a four-month run Feb. 14. In “From There to Here,” Leveille relates how that salvaged Eames chair ended up in the hay loft of his family’s barn and how it would inspire a passion for modern design and even a career.
“In the early 2000s,” Leveille writes, “I returned home from college to store some belongings in the barn. As I tucked my mountain bike against the wall of the loft, I moved aside the black plywood chair and was struck by its form. What was it that I was seeing? It was a shape that was almost familiar, but that I couldn’t quite place.
“When I returned to Boston, I typed ‘plywood chair’ into a search engine, and there was the very same piece from my father’s barn.”
There’s lots more to enjoy in the essay, and we won’t blow it here. But revealing one part of the ending will not spoil anything. Leveille went on to become the proprietor of our Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will be celebrating his 10th year with DWR in 2016.
You can read Leveille’s essay on the Eames Office website along with those from other inspired writers who tell of a romance sparked by an Eames coffee table and a very special chair passed down from a very special grandfather.