Charlotte Perriand France, 1903-1999



Charlotte Perriand is one of the twentieth century’s most important designers. She brought about a profound change in aesthetic values and introduced a truly modern sensitivity to people's everyday lives. Her innovative interior compositions gave birth to a new way of living that still influences our lifestyle today.


Perriand was raised in Paris where she attended the École de l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs from 1920 to 1925. There, under the tutelage of the school’s artistic director, Henri Rapin, Perriand proved herself to be a skilled designer, and her projects were selected and exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. First shown at the Salon d’Automne of 1927, at the very start of her career, her Bar under the roof was immediately acclaimed by critics. It drew the interest of both Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, leading to a decade-long collaboration. 


Perriand’s work continued to develop and in the late 1930s she collaborated with Pierre Jeanneret and Jean Prouvé, designing prefabricated buildings.


In the 1940s she moved to Japan in order to advise the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry on how to raise their design standards and develop products to export to the West. Perriand adapted local techniques of woodwork and weaving, straw, bamboo and twigs becoming her preferred materials. 


Perriand’s ten-year collaboration with Le Corbusier and Jeanneret and her stay in Japan were marked by intensive creativity. Her time in Asia (from 1940 to 1946) allowed her to develop her artistic talent, which blended tradition and modernity. 


Charlotte Perriand was involved in many projects during her lifetime. Deeply moved by social issues, she worked on housing developments such as the Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles in 1949, in collaboration with Le Corbusier, and on student rooms at the Cité Universitaire in Paris in 1953.In 1951 she participated in the French section of the Triennale in Milan. 


In 1985 the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris organized a retrospective exhibition of her work. Since then, she has been the subject of several shows.