Michel Dufet (1888 – 1985) French interior designer & writer

Tubular nickel-plated metal seats designed by Michel Dufet
Tubular nickel-plated metal seats designed by Michel Dufet

Michel Dufet (1888 – 1985) was a French interior designer and writer. In Deville-les-Rouen, he was born. He was professionally active in Paris.

Education & Early Years

He attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris to study painting and architecture. In 1913, he founded the MAM (Mobilier Artistique Moderne) decorating workshop at 3 Avenue de l’Opéra in Paris, producing modern furniture, wallpaper, fabrics, and lighting.

In 1918, he produced the two-year-long revue Feuillets d’Art alongside Paul Claudel, André Gide, Marcel Proust, and Gabriel Fauré.


At MAM, he began collaborating on design with Louis Bureau in 1920. He sold MAM to P.-A. Dumas in 1924 but continued to produce furniture.

He was the head of the interior-decorating enterprise Red Star in Rio de Janeiro from 1922 until 1924. Stores, theatres, bars, and workplaces were all designed by him.

Between 1924 and 1939, he worked at Le Bucheron’s newly formed Le Sylve design studio with art critic Léandre Vaillat, designing furniture and furnishings such as a desk in Canadian birch for the director of Agence Havas and a 1929 ebony, zinc, and cellulose-veneered desk for Compagnie Asturienne des Mines.

He designed the first Cubist wallpapers in c1924. Interiors for the oceanliner Foch, a children’s playground for the 1926 oceanliner Ile-de-France, 40 first-class cabins for the 1935 ocean liner Normandie, and a yacht for Marcel L’Herbier were among his commissions.

He wanted to design for mass manufacturing, but manufacturers were not interested.


His furniture was made in exotic woods with exquisite, sophisticated forms, influenced by neo-Cubism. He designed various stores, theatres, workplaces, public areas, and yachts, among other things. He became the editor-in-chief of Décor d’Aujourd’hui in 1933. He developed the layout for the Musée d’Antoine Bourdelle in 1947. Since 1950, he has dedicated a significant portion of his time to promoting the work of his father-in-law, sculptor Antoine Bourdelle.


Several of his furniture pieces were displayed at the Salon des Artistes Français de 1914. MAM’s work has been displayed in Société des Artistes Décorateurs Salons and Salon d’Automne sessions since 1919. Maréchal Lyautey, the commissioner general of the 1931 Paris “Exposition Coloniale,” had his welcome salon designed by him. He designed the French pavillion for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Participated in the wallpaper pavillion at the 1937 Paris’ Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne,’ along with René Gabriel.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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