Public Broadcast Laboratory
Episode Number
The Eames Design and Report from Chicago
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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"The Eames Design," a profile of a latter-day Leonardo, Charles Eames, and "Report from Chicago," a look at the state of arts in Chicago are broadcast on Public Broadcast Laboratory. Through the past four decades Charles Eames and his wife Ray have virtually revolutionized American taste and design. Furniture designer, architect, planner of exhibitions, and puzzler over effective means of communication for the 20th century, Eames may be a Protean prototype of the designer of tomorrow. The broadcast traces Eames' influence on American and world taste, from the famous molded-plywood Eames chairs, to current interest in whatever is well wrought, however naively, in the way of paleo-technical artifacts: such things as cast iron toy trains, early lithographs, posters, paper flowers, ornate cards, and other expressions of encounter between popular imagery and new technology. Styles and tastes that have trickled down into the American mainstream are often the result of discoveries made by the Eames. The broadcast includes extensive excerpts of films by the Eames, among them "A Computer Glossary" and "Toccata for Toy Trains." In the profile, PBL correspondent Edward P. Morgan interviews the Eames at their home in Pacific Palisades, a house that is considered to be one of the temples of the progressive movement in art, design, technology and the reconstruction of the environment. In Eames' studio the two men explore ways in which the computer can be used by planners, artists, and designers, to make the environment more livable. Eames' pioneering in the development of new ways of communication - exhibitions, expositions, and motion pictures - is glimpsed through quick cuts. The broadcast also depicts Eames' preliminary planning for a new National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. "The Eames Design" was produced for PBL by John O'Toole. "Report from Chicago," produced in color by NET's Chicago affiliate, WTTW, reveals the city as something of a boom town of the arts. Included are excerpts from a recent satirical review by the famed Second City troupe and from a performance of "Flora, the Red Menace" by the Hull House Repertory Theatre. The report looks at the revival of film making in Chicago, with a glimpse behind the scenes at the filming of "The Monitors," with Keenan Wynn and Larry Storch. The feature is being directed by Bernard Sahlins of the Second City troupe. The report examines the giant Picasso sculpture recently constructed in Chicago, Red Grooms' whimsical models of the Loop, experimental theater work by Paul Sills and jazz pianist Richard Abrams working with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Discussing the quality of cultural life in Chicago are Studs Terkel, author of "Division Street: America" and unofficial chronicler of Chicago history; critic Claudia Cassidy; Herman Kogan, editor of Book Week; dancer Sybil Shearer and others. "Report from Chicago" was produced and directed by Peter Strand of WTTW, and written by Richard Christiansen. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
PBL consists of 47-54 ninety-minute episodes.
Asset type
Performing Arts
Fine Arts
Media type
Moving Image
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Director: Strand, Peter
Interviewee: Kogan, Herman
Interviewee: Eames, Charles
Interviewee: Cassidy, Claudia
Interviewee: Shearer, Sybil
Interviewee: Eames, Ray Kaiser
Interviewee: Terkel, Studs
Interviewer: Morgan, Edward P.
Performing Group: Hull House Repertory Theater
Performing Group: Second City
Producer: O'Toole, John, 1931-
Producer: Strand, Peter
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
Writer: Christiansen, Richard
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Chicago: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 219; The Eames Design and Report from Chicago,” 1969-04-06, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2020,
MLA: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 219; The Eames Design and Report from Chicago.” 1969-04-06. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2020. <>.
APA: Public Broadcast Laboratory; 219; The Eames Design and Report from Chicago. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from