Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Design Skool-Charlotte Perriand

Alternate title: "Proof that lady parts don't make you soft and stupid"

History doesn't march forward in a singular path towards enlightenment.
More often, it just goes around in circles, like a a merry-go-round passing the same marker over and over again, not necessarily better or worse or different than the time before.

Women didn't first enter the workforce in the 1940s. Or the 1960s. We might have even been more daring, more free, more experimental at the turn of the century than we are in our image-conscious good-girl world today.

I'm thinking of Charlotte Perriand, whose accomplishments in the 1920s and 30s make the 21st century look almost medieval.

She designed chairs for le Corbusier (the ones that are commonly attributed only to him), kitchens for his famous Unite d'Habitation apartments, pre-fab buildings with Jean Prouve, the League of Nations in Geneva, Espace Unesco in Paris, and, my favorite, these leather and chrome sling chairs and and barstools for Les Arc ski lodge.

You can click here for a more comprehensive list of her many accomplishments.

This was her response when they tried to make her get the coffee--a precursor to bra-burning?


  1. Awesome post. I love mid-century design and had pretty much no knowledge of Charlotte Perriand.

  2. Thanks Rev. Jeff! I'm finding that some of the lesser-knowns from the era are so much more exciting than the famous ones.

  3. Oh, I think I forgot to put in the verification before I went to your joke link... was saying thank you for the attribution of that chair! I have been wondering every time I see it in pics...

    Plus these bar stools are now in my lifetime wishlist!

  4. They're on my list too, woodley.
    Everything about them is perfection.


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