Charlotte Perriand was born October 24th, 1903 in Paris, France. She studied furniture design at Ecole de l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, and made her big break at 24 years old, with “Bar Under the Roof” – furniture made out of chromed steel and anodized aluminium.
Soon after her work was acclaimed by critics, she became acquainted with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret and began a collaboration that would last more than 10 years.
In this time she worked on many significant and memorable pieces of design from this era. Of notable mention are three chairs: the LC2 Grand Confort armchair, the B301 reclining chair and B306 chaise lounge, designed as part of architectural projects for the studio.
Her influences came particularly from Japan, after a long stay in Asia.
Perriand led a busy life, traveling well with her work. After separating from her husband in 1930, she moved to Montparnasse. Her work then saw her travel from there, to Moscow, Paris, and Athens. In 1940 she sails to Japan, where she was appointed as an advisor on industrial design to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
She had to leave two years later though, as she was labeled as an “undesirable alien”. However, she got trapped by a navel blockade and spent the rest of the war in Vietnam, where she married her second husband and gave birth to a daughter, Pernette.
In 1946 she returned to France and revived her career as an independent designer. She worked on many projects in the next 20 years, including the design of Hôpital Saint-Lo with Fernand Léger, a prototype kitchen for Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation apartment building in Marseilles, and designed the League of Nations building for the United Nations in Geneva. In 1962, Perriand began a long-running project to design a series of ski resorts in Savoie.
In 1998, her autobiography ‘Une Vie de Création’ was published, along with a retrospective of her work.
Charlotte Perriand died in Paris on October 27, 1999 after a long and prosperous design career.
She is one of the most remarkable figures in the development of modernist design and a pioneer female in the furniture design world.
Charlotte Perriand’s famous furniture designs include:
Synthese des Arts stacking Chairs – 1953
B301 sling back chair ( Fauteuil Dossier) 1928
LC2 Grand Confort 1928
B306 chaise longue recliner 1928
B302 Swivel Chair, 1928-29