Picnic Inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames

One of our favorite picnic scenes ever is from Charles and Ray Eames' short film, Powers of Ten. It's set on the Chicago lakeside, where a young man and woman are enjoying a leisurely outdoor afternoon of food, reading, and napping. Some of our favorite details from the picnic:

  • The guy's pillow. Its five-sided house shape is covered in a beautiful beaded fabric. It initially strikes us as "too special" for a picnic, but why not?

  • The patchwork of picnic blankets. It looks like two heavy blankets are overlapped for a large, comfortable picnicing footprint. An iconic blue gingham fabric is then layered on top for the food spread.

  • The food containers aren't heavy with plastics or disposables. Instead, we're seeing classic wooden fruit bowls and woven wicker picnic baskets.

Powers of Ten was written and directed by the architects in 1977. The picnic is used as a starting point for illustrating scale, both very large and very small. To find out more, visit powersof10.com, where you can even view the film. Or buy the book here.

Related: What's Your Idea Of A Perfect Picnic?

(Images: Eames Office)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.