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Charlotte Perriand, the Coco Chanel of interior design
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Estimated reading time
3 Minutes

Charlotte Perriand, the Coco Chanel of interior design

From the first decades of the twentieth century, the French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand brought about a profound change in aesthetic values and gave birth to a truly modern sensitivity towards everyday life. 

She aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. That's why it is often said that Charlotte Perriand did for the furniture what Coco Chanel did for dresses: a revolution all around the human body. 

The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living—living in harmony with man’s deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment.
L’Art de Vivre,1981

Towers Paris bookend
Paris chair with cushion
Machi Paris toy

When she was 23 years old, during the Twenties, Charlotte had already designed the chaise longue which made her famous all over the world, capture the esteem of Le Corbusier.

In 1922 Le Corbusier started his own atelier in rue de Sèvres, Paris, with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, trying to define the human body positions scheme to use in furniture design. 

In 1927, Charlotte Perriand knocked on the atelier’s door with her own sketched of human posture and chairs designed around them. Four of them were the same that Le Corbusier was working on. 

Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret immediately understood that she was a genius and their collaboration started to end only after ten years.

The work of these three minds together was able to create furniture that wrote the design history and enhanced the design culture. 

Thanks to Charlotte Perriand, it was possibile to face the truly disruptive problem of de l’équipement d'intérieur de l’habitation, a new idea of living as something free, friendly and relaxing. People started to really enjoy their home thanks to the new concepts of the trio, that made them artists and entrepreneurs at the same time.

During the Fourties, Charlotte moved to Japan to explore the expressive potential of the Far East Tradition, for example she started to design and build furniture with the ancient technique of processing bamboo. 

When she came back to Europe, she focused on a series of original productions, commissioned by top-level authorities and leading companies such as Air France, and by a number of foreign organizations, authenticating the fame she had by now gained on the international scene.

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