Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999)

French furniture and interior designer, born and active Paris.


From 1920-25, she trained on a scholarship at LEcole de lUnion Centrale des Arts D√©coratifs. Upon completing her education, she presented herself to Le Corbusier and asked him for a job. "We dont embroider cushions here", he responded. The architect changed his mind after viewing Perriand´s rooftop bar at the Salon DAutomne, a sleek composition in aluminum, steel and glass, and subsequently offered her a position in his studio as a furniture designer.

Before employing Perriand, Corbusier had replied upon simple, ready-made furniture to realize the interiors of his buildings and exhibition installations. Inspired by Corbusier´s machine age aesthetic, and utilitarian objects such as automobiles and bicycles, she designed most of the now iconic pieces of furniture to emerge from the Corbusier office, including LC 1 chair (1928), the LC4 chaise longue (1928) in which she reclines in a famous photograph, and the LC 7 armchair (1929). Many of her pieces have been reissued in recent years by Cassina.

Perriand is also famous for her collaboration with the architect and engineer Jean Prouvé, with whom she designed prefabricated aluminum housing, and furniture. Together, they designed a widely published shelving system and a series of low tables. Her aesthetic in later years shifted from the industrial to the organic; she worked frequently in wood, cane, and leather.

Her work was shown at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1930, the Triennale di Milano of 1951, the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo in 1955, and in the Design Museum, London in 1998. Her autobiography, entitled Life of Creation appeared in 1999.

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