Jean Prouvé is one of the twentieth century’s most influential designers, manufacturers, and educators. Playing a pivotal role in the development of mass production techniques in post-war modernist Europe, his wide-ranging portfolio spans from prefabricated housing solutions to furniture for the office, classroom and home.
After studying at l'École de Nancy, he began his career blacksmithing in Enghien before returning to Paris. It is this intimate knowledge of metal that carries through each of his designs. Founding Atelier Jean Prouvé in 1931, his early work experimented with folding and arc-welding steel and aluminium to create lightweight metal-based furniture. Through his studio, he established himself as a world-renowned designer akin to other mid-century design icons such as Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand.
In the period of austerity following the Second World War, Prouvé received significant government contracts tasked with rebuilding France. This led to the development of new materials and production methods resulting in prefabricated refugee housing as well as his own mass-manufactured furniture lines. In 1971, as chairman of the selection committee, Prouvé chose Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers’ design for the Centre Georges Pompidou– further demonstrating his influence on global design.
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