Charlotte Perriand: an art of living

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H.N. Abrams in association with the Architectural League of New York, Dec 15, 2003 - Design - 304 pages
Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) was one of the most innovative furniture and interior designers of the twentieth century. Although her work has long been recognized by furniture historians and Le Corbusier specialists, Perriand's pioneering role has only recently become more widely appreciated. Her long career embraced much of the history of modern design in France, including Art Deco, machine-age modernism, the organic rusticity of the 1930s and 1940s, serially produced metal and wood furniture of the 1950s and 1960s, and plastic and prefabricated bathroom and kitchen units of the 1970s. Perriand collaborated with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret on the creation of their famous "LC" furniture and was responsible for the design of many of their major interiors. After 1938, she also worked frequently with Jean Prouve, developing a series of innovative modular storage units and low-cost residential furnishings. Apart from these collaborations, Perriand had her own practice, which encompassed a wide range of projects and countries, from a chaise lounge to a ski resort, from France to Japan, Vietnam, Congo, and Brazil.
Many of Perriand's pieces are now seen as classics of modern furniture. However, she saw her designs not merely as elegant objects but as part of a larger social program to extend the pleasures of modern life (what she called "l'art de vivre") to working-and middle-class people. Perriand sought to create a vibrant, accessible art that rejected bourgeois conventions while humanizing everyday environments. Her designs and her career also exemplify a radical rethinking of gender roles.
Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living is the first book in English on this important figure in the history of twentieth-century design. Mary McLeod has assembled a collection of essays that elucidate Perriand's rich, diverse career and the ways in which it intersects with contemporary cultural currents, political movements, and changing social and economic conditions.

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Charlotte Perriand: an art of living

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While numerous worthy books on male designers in the decorative arts have come out lately, their publication begs the question, Where are the women? This refreshing and informative volume on furniture ... Read full review


Preface and Acknowledgments
Perriand before Le Corbusier
Domestic Equipment of Charlotte Perriand

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About the author (2003)

Mary McLeod is professor of architecture at Columbia University.

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