Cassina and Ginori 1735 present ‘Le Monde de Charlotte Perriand’, a fine porcelain dining set inspired by original Charlotte Perriand photography. The striking, hand-decorated tableware collection features patterns in blue and white, referencing a series of images of nature taken by the French architect in the early 1930s. 

Blue and white plates in a circle
The collection by Cassina and Ginori 1735, featuring motifs referencing photographs of a fishbone, a tree trunk and patches of snow melting on rocks

The collection includes a service plate, a dinner plate, a bowl and a dessert plate, featuring three different motifs. Perriand’s photography of a fishbone, a tree trunk section and patches of snow on a rocky surface, photographed in the forest of Fontainebleau, become seemingly abstract, poetic textures, their silhouettes roughly translated in blue. To create this collection, Cassina and Ginori 1735 worked closely with Pernette Perriand-Barsac, Charlotte Perriand’s daughter and founder of her architectural and design archive. 

Charlotte Perriand: photography as design tool

Black and white fishbone photograph by Charlotte Perriand
Arête de poisson, 1933, by Charlotte Perriand. ©Archives Charlotte Perriand ADAGP 2021

The pioneering modernist architect (also the subject of an extensive exhibition at London’s Design Museum, opening in June 2021) often used photography as a key element of her design development, and these images in particular document Perriand’s passion for nature and organic forms. 

Black and white snow melting on rocks photographed in Fontainebleau by Charlotte Perriand
Black and white tree section photography by Charlotte Perriand
Top, Neige sur un sol rocheux, 1934, by Charlotte Perriand. Above, Bûches de robinier, 1933, by Charlotte Perriand. ‘A cut tree trunk [that] seems like two eyes are looking at you, for me it’s magical,’ comments Perriand’s daughter, Pernette Perriand-Barsac. ©Archives Charlotte Perriand ADAGP 2021

‘In those days, photography was still fairly new, it was revolutionary, and Charlotte instantly fell in love with it,’ explains Perriand-Barsac. The architect’s fascination with nature led her to collect found objects such as stones, roots or pieces of wood, observing their shape, materials and patterns, which would then become the inspiration for some of her designs. Through Perriand’s black and white photography, the objects become abstract, their shapes just hinted through contrast. 

‘In the 1930s, she photographed far and wide what she called art brut: when she went for a walk, along the seashore, in the countryside, or elsewhere, she picked up fishbones, or a piece of old boot washed up by the sea, and took them home to photograph,’ says Perriand-Barsac. Her description of the tableware collection: ‘a glance, energy, poetry.’§