Jean Prouvé

Portrait of Jean Prouvé Jean Prouvé (* 8. April 1901 in Paris/France; † 23. March 1984 in Nancy/France), was trained as a metal artisan under Emile Robert, Enghien und Szabo in Paris. In 1924 he opened his own workshop in Nancy and began to produce his first furnishings made of formed sheet steel in 1925. He was a founding member of the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM) in 1930. In the following year he established his own manufacturing firm, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé. During the 1930s, the company produced numerous furniture designs, as well as some of the first prefabricated architectural elements, including components for the Maison du Peuple in Clichy (in collaboration with the architects Beaudoin and Lods), whose steel-and-glass structure attracted a great deal of attention. Due to the scarcity of steel during the Second World War, Prouvé constructed wood furniture and developed simple houses made out of prefabricated parts. Active in the French Résistance, Prouvé was elected mayor of Nancy after the city was liberated. He designed and constructed residential buildings for the homeless. In 1947 he established the Maxéville factory, a facility of 25,000 square meters in which furnishings, prefabricated homes and schools were produced by 200 employees. Among the most famous pieces from Prouvé's Maxéville production included the Bahut sideboard. Due to disagreements with the majority shareholders, Jean Prouvé left the company in 1953. After working as head of the construction office of the Compagnie Industrielle de Matériel de Transport (CIMT) in Paris between 1957-68, Prouvé ran his own architectural consulting firm in Paris from 1968-84. He taught as professor at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) from 1957-70. As chairman of the jury for the Centre Pompidou architectural competition in 1971, he played a major role in selecting the design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. Between 1980-84, Prouvé again turned his attention to the further development of his furniture designs. In many of his works, Jean Prouvé achieved the goal of uniting functional requirements, the honest use of materials and economical concerns with the complex demands of mass production. Beginning in 2002, and in close collaboration with the Prouvé family, Vitra has devoted itself to the re-edition of numerous designs by this great constructeur.

EM table
Standard SP
Guéridon Bas
Tabouret Haut
Table Solvay
Compas Direction
Tabouret Solvay

More about 'Jean Prouvé' in our blog

Orgatec Cologne 2014: Vitra

... In comparison to the annual IMM Cologne furniture fair the corridors and halls of the Messe Cologne always seems curiously empty at the biennial Orgatec office furniture trade fair. Until that is one reaches the Vitra stand. And the crowds. The almost...

Design Miami Basel 2014

... While the art world is awash with anecdotes of cleaners disposing of installations having confused them for rubbish, we're not aware of any works of designer furniture having suffered a similar fate. At Design Miami Basel 2014 however Milan based Erastudio...

(smow) blog Design Calendar: April 8th 1901 – Happy Birthday Jean Prouvé!

... Whereas, generally speaking, those designers we feature in these pages have trained as either an architect or carpenter, Jean Prouvé was a blacksmith. Or more correctly a ferronniers d'art. An ornamental blacksmith. A training that was to give him a...

Design Miami Basel 2013

... In our post about Diogene by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Vitra we noted that a Jean Prouvé house could currently be marvelled at Design Miami Basel 2013. And we obviously don't want to deny all who weren't there the chance to do just that. ...

Passenger Terminal Expo 2012: Pascal Berberat, Vitra Airport Division

... We suspect the reason we write so much about designer furniture in an airport context is simply because of the amount of time we spend in airports. And consequently the amount of time we spend thinking about and analysing what we are being offered. If...

'Jean Prouvé'-posts