VitraTable Solvay (1941), Jean Prouvé
Trained as a craftsman in wrought iron, Jean Prouvé opened his own workshop ‘Ateliers Jean Prouvé’ in 1923. He began producing furniture of his own and collaborating with Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. Prouvé saw the potential of mass production and this inspired him to develop industrial products. He favored the public sector because they reflected a social ideal, but also offered the economies of scale. By 1936 he supplied hospitals, schools and offices with his furniture.
Launched in 1950, the EM Table was designed for the project ‘Maison Tropicale’. Adhering to the aesthetics of necessity, even the smallest details of this table are determined by its construction. The canted legs are connected by a crossbar, illustrating the structural forces and flow of stresses in a way that is seen only in engineering structures. In 1941 Prouve already designed a similar table for the Solvay chemical company (as pictured above). Due to the scarcity of metal during World War II, the Solvay table was designed and constructed with wooden legs.
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