Pierre Paulin: Design As Art

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Pierre Paulin: Design As Art

Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) is widely recognised as one of the most prolific designers of his time. Whilst he was deeply committed to the philosophy of modernism, his experimental designs and sculptural silhouettes have had global influence. From the functionality of the 1950s, to the sinuous curves of the 1970s, Paulin’s portfolio includes some of the most iconic furniture in design history. He was commissioned to design interiors for the Élysée Palace and the Louvre Museum in Paris, embracing a freethinking approach which has inspired future generations of creatives.




Form & Function


Born in Paris in 1927, Paulin studied at the École Camando School of Decorative Arts, going on to join the interior design team at Galeries Lafayette. Whilst travelling in the USA he discovered the work of American designers, taking great inspiration from Eames, among others. At the age of just 26 he launched his first furniture collection, immediately attracting the attention of Thonet, who put the Tanis Collection into production the following year.

Clockwise from bottom left: CM131 Chair, Tanis Side Table, CM202 Stool, Tanis Sideboard 




Oysters & Pumpkins


In the late 50s Paulin began collaborating with Dutch design firm Artifort, where he was given a stage to explore and experiment with the possibilities of form. It was there he laid the foundations for what became his signature style, embracing vibrant colours, curved forms and elastic fabrics. The Oyster CM137 Chair, reissued this year by Ligne Roset, encapsulates this visual language with its enveloping seat. 

 The Pumpkin Collection was designed in 1971 as a unique piece for the private residence of Claude & Georges Pompidou at the Elysée Palace. The sofa and armchair are characteristic of Paulin's sculptural aesthetic, with a segmented form of soft lines. 

 Above: CM137 Oyster Chair






Paulin, Paulin, Paulin 


During the 1990s, Paulin and his family retreated to rural Cévennes, where the natural landscape inspired his work as both designer and landscape-architect. The traditional farmhouse nestled in the mountains, gave Pierre the space to observe the world from a distance whilst initiating new projects. In 2008 the Paulin, Paulin, Paulin foundation was established by Pierre’s family to preserve the legacy of work.

 Above and below: Gavrinis 3 Rug collection


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