The spirit of exhibition and visual pedagogy in the work of Charles and Ray Eames
This project examines the ways in which Charles and Ray Eames promoted visual pedagogy in their exhibitions and new media experiments. Through cooperative efforts with various artists, designers, educators, scholars, museums, corporations, and institutions, the Eameses refined methods of visual communication to create effective experiential learning spaces. Within these spaces, the Eameses developed strategies that sought to unite art, science, and technology as well as underline the value of visual literacy within the new media landscape. By analyzing the Eameses' collaborations, interdisciplinary educational initiatives, exhibition designs, multimedia presentations, and didactic films, I reveal the ways in which the designers constructed pedagogical environments through the experimental use of new media. This dissertation seeks to ground Charles and Ray Eames in their historical moment, illustrating the ways in which the Eameses' work anticipated, engaged, and reflected contemporary theoretical developments in vision, media, and interdisciplinary education. The Eameses believed new media had the potential to dissolve the artificial categorization of academic disciplines: film could be used to teach mathematics; toys could provide insight into fine art; and technology could help to create a visually literate populace. Consequently, the Eameses combined traditional display models and new media in highly choreographed spaces that relied on objects and images to communicate cultural histories, ideas, and values.