Monday, July 27, 2009

The Visionary Furniture of Pierre Paulin

Many designs of the Mid-Century era were way ahead of their time, but none so than those of the French furniture designer, Pierre Paulin. Combining visionary ideas, unique materials and new construction techniques, Paulin's body of work is exciting, revolutionary and above all the epitome of modern design.

Born in Paris in 1927, Paulin grew up during an exciting time for modern design. Even though he would become known for his furniture, Paulin actually started out studying stone carving and clay modeling at the Ecole Camondo in Paris. It was here he gained the skills and thought processes of a sculpter. In the 1950s, he began experimenting with furniture design, using his skills and knowledge of sculpture to assist him in his building of pieces. He first worked for Thonet, known of course for bent wood furniture.

In 1958 Paulin became a member of the Artifort Design Group, and this membership afforded him many opportunities to experiment with furniture making, which he really explored using his background in clay and sculpting. When his work first hit the scene, many considered it to be far too visionary for Paris, even the world.

He often experimented with things like wooden furniture shells pressed under high frequency and tubular frames and covered with things like canvas cotton, foam and fabric. Because of his revolutionary ideas, his furniture began to take on a more sculptural and artistic appeal, and he has since amassed a huge following for his work of design lovers all over the globe.


In 1968, Paulin collaborated with Le Mobilier National and began taking on commissions for important government projects, including both the furniture and interiors for the Elysee Palace in Paris. Also at this time, he began experimenting with other media, such as creating and designing home appliances. He was finally becoming recognized as an amazing talent in the design world, but still his designs were way ahead of their time.

Homeowners looking to add a little Pierre Paulin into their homes would best benefit from adding one of his many chair designs to a space, of which you have many to choose from. Though his catalogue of work is prolific, some of his most recognizable designs are the Tulip and Little Tulip chairs, Globe and Little Globe Chairs, Ribbon Chair, Mushroom Chair and Tongue Chair. Characterized by neat shapes and soft, almost plush covered frames, Paulin's furniture designs are easily recognizable, and comfortable too!

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