May 31, 2009

Lord Have Murphy! ECS, Eames Contract Storage

"ECS we hope will help architects, designers and school administrators whose planning and maintenance requirements are extraordinary and multitudinous."


In an attempt to expand their reach into the dorm and contract furniture market, Herman Miller launched the ECS, the Eames Contract Storage system by Ray and Charles Eames, in 1961.

It stayed in production until 1969, but it was reportedly not a commercial success. Call me crazy, but the 3-bay ECS setup going on sale at LA Modern's June 7 auction looks kind of awesome. Not for me, of course, or you, or anyone of voting age, who should rightly storm the dean's office over such a tiny closet and a flimsy foam mattress Murphy bed. But it could be great for a kid.


The golden plywood finish on the LAMA system looks great, and for $3-5,000, it might feel like a bargain. Or all the black Formica-looking parts, which are more visible on the ECS sold in 1999 at Treadway for the same price [$3750] could make it feel like a scam.

If the idea of dropping four grand on a vintage wall unit that doesn't appreciate a nickel in ten years doesn't move you, the ECS is still highly knock-offable. The details and hardware in the vintage ECS sales brochure in the Eames Office archive looked totally off-the-shelf even then. Just sprinkle your ECS with a little Andrea Zittel-inspired design dust, get a $1.00 copy of Mario Dal Fabbro's 1974 DIY classic, How To Make Built-In Furniture, and send links and photos when you're done.

Lot 123: ECS, Charles & Ray Eames Contract Storage, est $3-5,000 []
1960 Eames Contract Storage []
Previously: another Mario dal Fabbro title: How To Make Children's Furniture and Play Equipment


Oh those are gorgeous!

Is it possible an eames-designed anything has just been upstaged by a headline? Yes, yes it is. Well done, good sir.

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