Standard Chair (1934), 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.

Prouvé always strove for logic, balance and purity – evident in his Standard Chair (1934). Chairs take the most stress on their back legs, where they carry the weight of the user’s upper body. Prouvé incorporated this insight in the Standard Chair: steel tubing was sufficient for the front legs, since they are subject to less stress, but the back legs need to be more voluminous to transfer the primary weight to the floor. The classic version of the Standard Chair has a finely shaped wooden seat and backrest and is currently manufactured by Vitra.

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