Charlotte Perriand (24 October 1903 – 27 October 1999)
Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work was very entrenched in the modern ethos although later on a Japanese influence can be noted in her work. Perriand believed better design helped to create a better society and her innovative approach places her amongst the most influential 20th century figures.
Perriand enrolled in the Ecole de L’Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs (“School of the Central Union of Decorative Arts”) to study furniture design from 1920 until 1925. Her work eventually came to the attention of Le Corbusier who employed ger as a funiture designer. In 1928 she designed three chairs from Corbusier’s principles. Each chair had a chromium-plated tubular steel base. At Corbuiser’s request a chair was made for conversation: the B301 sling back chair, another for relaxation: the LC2 Grand Comfort chair, and the last for sleeping: the B306 (LC4) chaise longue.
In the 1930s, Perriand’s focus became more egalitarian and populist. Along with designing furniture and living spaces. In 1940 Perriand travelled to Japan as an official advisor for industrial design to the Ministry for Trade and Industry. On her way back to Europe she was detained and forced into Vietnamese exile because of the war. Throughout her exile she studied woodwork and weaving and also gained much influence from Eastern design. Her work continued to be popular after the war with many exhibitions celebrating her innovations with new materials.
Today Perriand’s most famous pieces such as the LC2 Sofa/Armchair have become modern icons, permanent additions at MoMA and some of her pieces are still produced today by Cassina. Charlotte once wrote “The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living—living in harmony with man’s deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment.”