Pierre Paulin (1927-2009)

Pierre Paulin, one of the seminal French designers of the mid-20th century, has passed away

Pierre Paulin
(Image credit: Press)

Recipient of a plethora of prestigious commissions from the renovation of the private apartments of President Georges Pompidou at the Elysée, to the crafting of a stunning Swarovski chandelier for their Crystal Room at via Savona 56, Zona Tortona his work received a surge of interest towards the end of his life, resulting in numerous reissues and new designs.

Two years ago, to commemorate his past 60 years of design achievement, 50 of which were spent in partnership with Artifort, a retrospective fittingly entitled ‘Jubille Pierre Paulin 80/60/50' was staged in Paris.

Paulin first made waves in the design world back in 1952, when his innovative philosophy caught the attention of Thonet, for whom he was to master the development of new materials for established American brands such as Eames, Saarinen and Bertoia.

However, it was Paulin’s whimsical and elegant creations for Artifort that were the major factor in defining his lengthy career. Throughout the 50 years of successful collaboration, Paulin’s revolutionary style supplied the Dutch upholstery specialists with a wealth of style icons.

A joyful modernist, Paulin’s designs allowed the public to discover the comfort of modern living through his masterful combination of sculpture and functionality. With a signature Pop aesthetic sweeping throughout his catalogue of creations, Paulin captured the world’s imagination with innovative pieces such as the Oyster, Mushroom, Tongue and Ribbon chairs, all of which have become sought-after design classics.

As testament to Paulin’s ongoing relevance within today’s world of design, Artifort reintroduced the Ribbon chair back into production in 2007. Ligne Roset reintroduced the Pumpkin seating system in 2008 and the Archi, Anda, TV and Curule designs at the beginning of the year alongside two new commissions.


18 rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris

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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.