Fluid functional beauty and efficient creativity have made architect and designer Jean Prouvé one of the most revered figureheads of 20th-century design. With a career spanning over 60 years, the Design Museum is hosting an all-encompassing retrospective exhibition, 'Jean Prouvé – The Poetics of Technical Object'.
Exploring Prouvé’s life, work and ideas, from his blacksmith days to establishing his own factory, the exhibition demonstrates the French designer’s love and understanding of metal and his involvement in bringing it to the mass market for both furniture and building production.
Viewing himself as more of a ‘constructor’ than designer, Prouvé combined the functionalism and aesthetic values of aluminum and steel with their economic and social applications, as evident in his construction of cabins for refugees in France during the war.
Click here to see a gallery of Prouvé's seminal designs and buildings.
His passion for efficiency led to the production of classic design pieces, such as the Standard chair and the Antony chair. Prouvé’s minimalist style also attracted the attention of the best-known designers of his day, including le Corbusier and Charlottes Perriand, both of whom provided fruitful collaborations.
Aside from producing iconic furniture, Prouvé also made a name for himself as a pioneering architect. Successfully transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture without losing any of the aesthetic qualities, Prouvé linked the process of construction to the language of modern architecture.
The exhibition will demonstrate examples of the designer’s vast architectural developments alongside innovative pieces such as his folded sheet armchairs – all of which illustrate the dynamism and scope of this influential French ‘constructor’.