Born in 1903, Charlotte Perriand divided her childhood between Paris, where her father worked as a tailor and her mother as an haute couture seamstress, and her grandparents’ home in the mountainous rural... Read more region of Savoie. In 1920, she enrolled as a student at the Ecole de l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs and studied there for five years. Frustrated by the craft-based approach and Beaux-Arts style championed by the school, Perriand searched for inspiration in the machine aesthetic of the motor cars and bicycles she saw on the Paris streets.
Determined to avoid working for an artisanal furniture manufacturer, but despairing of finding a more empathetic way of earning a living in furniture design, Perriand considered studying agriculture, until a friend suggested that she read two books by Le Corbusier, '1923’s Vers une Architecture' and '1925’s L’Art Décoratif d’Aujourd’hui'. Young Charlotte was so thrilled with Le Corbusier thoughts that she went to try to persuade him to employ her. This collaboration lasted from 1927 to 1937 and resulted in many successful projects such as “l’équipement d'intérieur de l’habitation” ('Equipment for the home').
In 1937, Perriand left Le Corbusier’s studio to collaborate with Fernand Leger on a stand at the 1937 Paris Exhibition and then to work on a ski resort in Savoie. When World War II began, she returned to Paris to design prefabricated aluminium buildings with Pierre Jeanneret and Jean Prouvé until, in 1940, a friend from the Corbusier Studio arranged for her to travel to Japan as an official advisor on industrial design to the Ministry for Trade and Industry. Perriand set sail from Marseilles and, once in Japan, set about advising the government on how to raise standards of design in Japanese industry in order to develop products for export to the West. Yet, after Japan joining the war as a German ally, Perriand found herself trapped in Vietnam from 1942 to 1946.
When back in France, Perriand got involved in design and architectural projects again. Her first project was a ski resort, and in 1947 she worked with Fernand Leger on a hospital and then with Le Corbusier on his "Unité d’Habitation" apartment building in Marseilles. Perriand’s experiences in Japan and Vietnam continued to influence her work, which combined many of the functional elements of Japanese interiors, such as sliding screens to redefine particular spaces, with the Indochinese finesse in working with natural materials, such as wood and bamboo.
Charlotte Perrian kept working yet she was less visible as an independent designer than as part of Le Corbusier's Studio. In 1985, the 'Musée des Arts-Décoratifs' in Paris and, in 1988, the 'Design Museum' celebrated her work with retrospective exhibitions.
Charlotte Perriand Furniture Designs
Each 522 Tokyo Chaise Longue comes with a protective waterproof cover for the winter season.
524 Tabouret Berger, designed by Charlotte Perriand, is an elegant three-legged wooden stool.
523 Tabouret Meribel Wooden Stool with a canaletto walnut, natural oak or black-stained oak finish.
525 Table en Forme Libre in solid oak was originally designed by Charlotte Perriand for her Paris studio.