Pierre Paulin (1927 – 2009) French furniture designer

Pierre Paulin Tongue Chair featured image

Pierre Paulin (1927 – 2009) was a French furniture designer. He was born and professionally active in Paris.

Education

He was active in research for the government-sponsored Mobilier International. His first plastic object was the 1953 Chair 157 in polyester, ABS, and elastomers produced by Artifort of Maastricht. Around 1955, he was one of the first to work in elasticised fabrics for Thonet and subsequently for Artifort. In the mid-1960s, he set up his design studio in Paris, designing automobile interiors for Simca, telephones for Ericsson, and packaging for Christian Dior.

Between1958—59, he worked in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the USA, and Japan. In the mid-1960s, he designed a succession of sculptural furniture forms composed of a tubular steel structure covered in foam and upholstered in an elasticised fabric produced by Artifort. These models departed dramatically from the upholstered seating on black tubular metal legs that he designed for Thonet in the 1950s. At the design collaboration AS.DA he worked with Roger Tallon on the 1980 Dangari plastic outdoor chair. His ribbon-like 1965 Chair 582, produced by Arti- fort, was widely published. 1967—78, Paulin participated in refurbishing the Louvre. In 1968, he collaborated with the Mobilier National, resulting in the 1971 ‘endless’ sofa produced by Alpha. His other work for the Mobilier National included furniture and the decoration of President Georges Pompidou’s private quarters in the Palais de l’Elysée in 1970; special seating for the French pavilion at 1970 Osaka ‘Japan World Exposition (Expo 70)’; and public seating for the Louvre.

Exhibitions

His work was included in the Utrecht Furniture Fairs from 1962, where Chair 582 was shown in 1965; Paris Salon du Meuble from 1963. He won gold medals at the 1958 Brussels ‘Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles (Expo 58),’ 1968 (XIV) Triennale di Milano, and 1970 Osaka ‘Japan World Exposition (Expo 70).’ He received the 1969 USA Interior Design International Award for Chair 582. A 1983 retrospective of his work was mounted at the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

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