Charlotte Perriand photography inspires tableware

A series of black and white photographs by Charlotte Perriand inspired this collection of tableware by Cassina and Ginori 1735 

Colourful plates for showcases
Cassina and Ginori 1735 present ‘Le Monde de Charlotte Perriand’: a new tableware collection inspired by the French modernist architect’s photography of nature
(Image credit: Charlotte Perriand)

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. 

Decorative plates for showcases

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

(Image credit: Charlotte Perriand )

Charlotte Perriand: photography as design tool

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. 

Its look like a skeleton

Arête de poisson, 1933, by Charlotte Perriand. ©Archives Charlotte Perriand ADAGP 2021

(Image credit: Charlotte Perriand)

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. 

Photography skills depicted

(Image credit: Charlotte Perriand)

Photography skills depicted

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

(Image credit: Charlotte Perriand)

‘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.

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.