Legendary French furniture designer Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) bestrode the 1960’s and 70’s with his recognizable and innovative style that instantly revolutionized everyday furniture.
He studied at the École Camondo design school in Paris, where his teacher urged him to join Marcel Gascoin’s workshop. There Paulin took in Scandinavian aesthetics and gained great insight into the role that design could play in society.
Through the 1950s Pierre Paulin moved on to design furniture on his own and he began to experiment with stretchy, extensible fabrics that could be drawn across a chair’s armature. He started successful collaborations with Thonet France and Artifort, where the latter resulted in several iconic pieces such as the Mushroom, Ribbon and Tongue chairs, all of which have become sought-after design classics.
A joyful modernist, Paulin’s low-slung pieces provided a new laid-back perspective on life and his forward-looking, eclectic and sculptural approach to furniture design instantly caught the mood of the swinging ’60s. The hedonistic, sinuous style of Paulin’s design also attracted the patronage of presidents Georges Pompidou and François Mitterrand, who asked him to redecorate parts of the Elysée Palace in the 1970s and ’80s.
Widely recognized, Pierre Paulin’s innovative designs can today be found in contemporary art and design collections around the world, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London along with the National Centre for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris.