Charlotte Perriand France, 1903-1999


Charlotte Perriand (b. 1903, Paris; d. 1999, Paris) was a French designer who contributed majorly to the concept of harmonious interior design through her thoughtful integration of furniture and architectural environments. Perriand studied furniture at the École de L'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs from 1920 until 1925. There, Perriand distinguished her style from the handcrafted wood designs popular at the École by creating furniture for the machine age. The designer often used tubular steel and avoided embellishment and patterned textiles. In 1927, Perriand began her decade-long tenure at legendary architect and designer Le Corbusier’s atelier. After working on “equipment” for the modern home with Le Corbusier, Perriand befriended Jean Prouvé, and the two designers collaborated on several projects for the French military during World War II. Throughout her career, but especially during the war, Perriand’s creative output reflected her politics; the designer began to prioritize utility at this point, which included creating less expensive designs that could be mass-produced. The day the Germans came to occupy France in 1942, Perriand left for Japan with an invitation from the Japanese Embassy. With a sponsorship from the Imperial Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Japan, Perriand exhibited a new collection of hand-crafted wood furniture–a steep departure from the metal-based designs she came to be known for. Later in her career, Perriand became interested in architecture and created several public buildings including the League of Nations office in Geneva and the Les Arcs ski resort in Savoie, France. Perriand has been included in several major exhibitions worldwide, including, most recently, her 2019-2020 solo exhibition “Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World” at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.