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Design Icon: Charlotte Perriand

Many innovators helped usher in the Modernist movement, but French architect, furniture maker, and interior designer Charlotte Perriand turned lofty ideals into revolutionary living spaces. Her extended collaboration with Le Corbusier made the sleek, chrome-finished future a reality, but her continued evolution and experimentation with different forms and materials made her a true icon.
Salon d’Automne Installation (1927)

Inspiring designers, take note—this is how to nail a job interview. Initially spurned by Corbusier, Perriand was determined to impress the architect and brought his concepts to life with this aluminum-and-steel rooftop bar (“Bar sous le toit”).

Perriand’s relationship with Corbu had a bit of a rocky start: Corbusier’s studio initially rejected the aspiring designer, infamously saying, "We don’t embroider cushions here," before her apartment layout at the Salon d’Automne in 1927, including an aluminum-and-chrome bar, impressed the iconoclast so much he hired her on the spot. In a career filled with impressive collaborations and an extended and influential stay in Japan during WWII, Perriand went on to create a wealth of influential furniture pieces—including chaise lounges, armchairs, and tubular “equipment for living”—as well as scores of influential interiors, including a conference room for the United Nations in Geneva, the Unite d'Habitation housing project in Marseilles, and the Méribel ski resort.

“I’m for teamwork. I’m very interested in the life of houses. Everything is created from within, if you will—needs, gestures, a harmony, a euphoric arrangement, if possible, in relation to an environment.” — Charlotte Perriand

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