Designers: Jean Prouve

Jean Prouve (1901-1984) was one of the most influential mid century furniture designers of the modern design movement. Prouve was Born in France, where he was an accomplished Industrial and Furniture Designer and Architect. Jean Prouve famously introduced the machine age and industrial engineered modern design aesthetic to the steel and aluminum architecture that he created. Jean Prouve was well known as both engineer and mid century modern furniture designer. Jean Prouve was trained as a metal smith before attending engineering school. His knowledge of metal was the foundation of his design philosophy, which was reflected throughout his work and career. After opening his own workshop in 1923, Jean Prouve started fabricating and designing his own mid century furniture and collaborating with some of the best-known French designers of the era; including Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. His collaborative work was best exemplified via the shelving units that were designed for the Cite internationale universitaire de Paris Dorms. Jean Prouve always considered himself more of an engineer than a mid century modern furniture designer. He never designed for the sake of form alone. Instead, he focused on the use of materials and production. Prouve aspired to make the most efficient and stable designs. This longing lead to classic designs such as the Standard Chair in 1934 and the Antony chair in 1954. Jean Prouve utilized an innovative method of folding sheet metal to design a series of tables that have a uniquely perceived lightness and presence of architecture akin to a bridge. In the 1950s Jean Prouve abandoned his work with mid century modern furniture design and production. He then devoted his time to prefabricated architecture. His own house, which he designed as a prototype, is now considered a major development in the prefab movement.