The O Team announces its first book
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Design in the life of an American family
A rough sketch
1954: Sal and Gladys Valastro spend their wedding money on nine pieces of furniture by Charles and Ray Eames. A lifetime and two children later, the pieces are still in immaculate condition, still beautiful, still serving. True to the Charles and Ray Eames design principles, and the embodiment of their esthetic, this is a story of design in the heart of an American family’s life.
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“Daniel Ostroff has been diligently researching and documenting, in great detail, the rich design contributions of Charles and Ray Eames. His new book is an essential look at one specific family and the intimate effect of the Eames furniture on their living environment over many years. It is particularly valuable in that it gives the reader an idea of how the Eames' furniture was originally intended, not as products for the Modernist elite but as affordable, functional objects that contribute to a higher quality of life. A brief but most comprehensive and valuable read which adds greatly to the emerging and important Eames lore. We owe a debt of gratitude to Daniel Ostroff for this new contribution to the history of design in America.”
—R. Roger Remington. Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design. Rochester Institute of Technology. Author of American Modernism: Graphic Design, 1920 to 1960; Design and Science: The Life and Work of Will Burtin; Lester Beall: Space, Time & Content (Graphic Design Archives Chapbook Serie, 1); Nine Pioneers in American Graphic Design; Will Burtin and the Display of Visual Knowledge.
“How often do you think about furniture? If you’re like most people, probably never. When you need to decorate a space, you choose items that look appealing and that fit in your budget-and that’s it. And yet, as Dan Ostroff’s Eames+Valastro demonstrates, design can have radical implications for how we interact with objects, with other people, even with ourselves. Ostroff offers a fascinating interview with the sons of Sal Valastro, the noted photographer, and Gladys Valastro, designer of the first practical kitchen for people in wheelchairs. With Eames furniture as their building blocks, the Valastros created an entirely new and exciting way to think of the arrangement of domestic space. After you read this gem of a book, you will never take your favorite living room chair for granted ever again.”
—Leora Tanenbaum. Author of Slut!, Catfight, Taking Back God, and Bad Shoes
“Not only does Daniel Ostroff have a great eye for design, but he’s a crack interviewer as well. This is a book for collectors, architectural mavens, urban planners, environmentalists and just about anyone interested in the amazing Charles and Ray Eames and their profound influence on the way we live now.”
—Mameve Medwed, National Bestselling Author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life and Of Men and Their Mothers.
“It’s sometimes hard to remember a time when Eames furniture wasn’t a museum piece, so iconic are its shapes, and so famous its designers. Eames + Valastro: Design in the Life of an American Family offers a different kind of Eames history via an interview about and amateur photographs of nine pieces of Eames, bought by Gladys and Sal Valastro in 1954. Sons James and Kenneth Valastro reminisce about turning a fiberglass rocker into a turtle, surfing a molded plywood coffee table, and sleeping as babies in the drawer of an ESU. Their memories put Eames furniture back into context, as a well-made, forward-looking alternative for a young creative couple and their rambunctious boys. The history that emerges suggests that an interest in design can start with your parents’ choice of a cradle.”