Jean Prouve (1901-1984): French Industrial- and Furniture Designer and Architect. Jean Prouve is one of the most influential furniture designers of the early modern design movement, Jean Prouve introduced the machine age and industrial engineered modern design aesthetic to interiors in the steel, aluminum and architecture he created. He then continued her experiments with different materials.
Jean Prouve was both engineer and modern designer.
Jean Prouve was once quoted saying: never design anything that cannot be made.
Jean Prouve was born into an artistic family in Nancy, France; his famous father, Victor Prouve, collaborated with the great Art Nouveau artists Emile Galle and Louis Majorelle as a ceramicist. Jean Prouve himself was trained as a metal smith before attending engineering school in Nancy, and his intimate knowledge of metal remained the foundation of his work and career. After opening his own workshop in 1923, Jean Prouve began producing modern metal furniture of his own design as well as collaborating with some of the best-known French modern designers of the day, including Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. His shelving units for the dormitories at the Cite internationale universitaire de Paris, designed with Perriand and the artist Sonia Delaunay in 1952, are perhaps the best-known examples of his collaborative work.
Jean Prouve always regarded himself as more of an engineer and constructor instead of a modern designer. He never designed for the sake of form alone, concentrating instead on the essence of materials, connections and production. Jean Prouve strove for the most constructionally and materially efficient designs, with such classic end results as the modern design Standard chair of 1934 and the Antony chair of 1954. Utilizing his innovative method of folding sheet metal, Jean Prouve designed a series of tables that have the perceived lightness of bridges and the presence of architecture. In the mid 1950s, Jean Prouve was forced to abandon modern design furniture production and began devoting his time to the challenges of prefabricated architecture. His own house, which he designed as a prototype, is now considered a major development in prefab housing.
though Jean Prouvé has long been an influential force among modern
designers, especially constructionally minded architects such as Norman
Foster and Renzo Piano, and his vintage modern design has been sought
after for years by connoisseurs and museums who specialize in modern
design, his work has remained relatively unknown to the general design
public. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence and his original
modern design creations can be purchased at fine auction houses like Wright20.com. Vitra Germany has also reissued some of his modern design under authorization of the Jean Prouve estate.