To excel in the structuring of a problem, we must be committed to a concern for quality in everything around us. We must learn to care deeply.

Charles Eames

Design Remedy

Leg Splints by Charles and Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames had just begun experimenting with molded plywood in their furniture designs when their attention was drawn elsewhere. Upon hearing that the metal splints used to treat injured soldiers were causing more damage and pain by amplifying vibrations when moved, the pair set out to design a lighter, flexible and more forgiving solution. Working in the guest bedroom of their small home, Charles and Ray crafted the first plywood leg splint. Using wood veneers bonded with resin glue and shaped under heat and pressure, the resulting splints were functional, lightweight, and inexpensive to produce. Together with manufacturer Evans Products, the Eames’ produced over 150,000 splints during the war. For Charles and Ray, the venture was not only beneficial to the war effort, but it also enabled them to perfect the manufacturing process for molded plywood furniture and underlined the importance of functional, egalitarian design.