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Computer House of Cards

  • Object:

    Set of cards

  • Place of origin:

    United States (designed)
    Germany (printed)

  • Date:

    1970 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Eames, Charles, born 1907 - died 1978 (designer)
    Eames, Ray, born 1912 - died 1988 (designer)
    Otto Maier Verlag (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Offset lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Eames Office, LLC

  • Museum number:

    E.3346:1 to 58-2018

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2E, shelf DR56, box Digital Art []

Charles and Ray Eames are best known for their iconic modern furniture designs, but they also undertook other work for major companies such as IBM. They were responsible for the exhibitions, graphics, signage, and films for IBM’s pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964-5. Later, they also designed a deck of cards for the IBM Pavilion at the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan. The cards were given away to visitors as souvenirs.

Each card has six slots, and is printed with an image of computer components. They can be assembled to make three-dimensional representations of the mainframe computer hardware that was becoming in the 1970s.

Physical description

Set of 56 cards with original box and set of instructions. The image on one side of each card depicts a part of the inner workings of a pre-microchip computer. The reverse of each card is white with a black circle and straight lines spreading outside it from the centre in a spoke like pattern.

Place of Origin

United States (designed)
Germany (printed)


1970 (made)


Eames, Charles, born 1907 - died 1978 (designer)
Eames, Ray, born 1912 - died 1988 (designer)
Otto Maier Verlag (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Offset lithograph

Descriptive line

Computer House of Cards, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for IBM, offset lithograph, designed in the USA, printed in Germany by Otto Maier Verlag, 1970

Production Note

Designed for the IBM Pavilion during the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. They were created as souvenirs for guests, and were printed only once.


Card; Ink


Offset lithography


Prints; Games


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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