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Designer

Jean Prouvé

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.

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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.

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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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With a career spanning sixty years, his oeuvre comprises of iconic pieces such as the Trapeze Table, the Standard Chair and the Cité Armchair. His work stands apart from that of his contemporaries due to its bold elegance and rejection of ubiquitous materials such as tubular steel, a material championed by the influential Bauhaus design school.

Prouvé's timeless designs remain incredibly popular today and continue to be manufactured by Vitra in close collaboration with his estate. Following his death in 1984, his work has been the focus of major exhibitions at the Vitra Design Museum and London's Design Museum. Furthermore, his designs sit in permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and New York’s MoMA.

Cité Armchair Black

Cité Armchair Black

Crafted by Vitra and designed by Jean Prouvé, this Cité Armchair is upholstered in Vitra’s premium Cité black cotton fabric, with a black powder-coated steel base and tan leather straps that showcase Prouvé’s minimalist style perfectly.

An engineer, architect and designer all at once, Jean Prouvé called himself ‘le Constructeur’ or ‘The Factory man’ and was driven by systematic design and industrial processes.

Designed in 1930, the Cité Armchair was originally destined to simply furnish the student residence halls at the Cité Universitaire in Nancy. However, the armchair proved so comfortable and elegant that Prouvé used the ergonomic armchair in the living room of his own home.

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Products by Jean Prouvé

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