Jean Prouvé was an almost mythical figure in the world of construction and French design. He practised in many areas and created his own brand. Born in Nancy, France, he was involved in ironwork, construction, architecture and a variety of similar areas, specialising in materials such as aluminium and wood. Son of Victor Prouvé, an excellent cabinet-maker, he was exposed to artistic principles from his earliest childhood. By combining design and drawing as well as furniture creation and house construction, he united architecture and industry. In 1919, he took classes with the famous iron craftsman Émile Robert, before opening his own studio in 1931. His biggest success is still in artistic ironwork.
Jean Prouvé placed a lot of importance on inspiration. He would use a mixture of materials as long as they were robust and efficient. That way, he kept modernity and purified design without becoming too extravagant in his innovations. Even when creating buildings, his concerns as a designer were reflected in his attention to detail. His combination of originality and conciseness became the basis of his reputation. Whilst he followed no other models, many other designers copied him. All of his designs are unique and reflect his style and practicality.
Jean Prouvé has several works to his credit in both furniture and architecture. In furniture, his popularity came from the Wooden Chair. Several models of this product were sold in a mix of geometric forms. He created strong and comfortable Presidential Standard Chairs and comfortable, curved Lounge Chairs as well as a bookcase, table and other ranges. His architectural designs include a refreshment room for Évian and a temporary school in Villejuif. He created several temporary buildings, making him an excellent designer architect. Prouvé produced distinguished innovations both on his own in collaboration with other designers.
Jean Prouvé was a multi-faceted artist whose numerous designs all contributed to his legendary status. His legacy to French construction is vital. He forged this huge success not just with his own creations but by teaching courses and speaking at conferences. Books have been written about him and his most exceptional works are displayed in museums. "There is nothing that can be conceived that cannot be made" was his saying and it shows the power of his imagination. Today, Jean Prouvé's ranges are still sold in the thousands.