Jacques Hitier (1917 – 1999) French furniture designer

Daybed Jacques Hitier featured image
Daybed Jacques Hitier featured image

Jacques Hitier (1917 – 1999) was a French interior architect and designer. In his book, Patrick Favardin introduces him as “one of the most prominent figures of decorative art of the second half of the twentieth century”. From 1972 until 1982, he was the director of the Paris L’École Boulle School for Fine Arts and Crafts and Applied Arts.

He specialised in developing industrial furniture for public contexts like schools and government buildings after WWII. He exhibited his whole body of work at both the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and the Salon des Arts Ménagers. Hitier also created luxury and high-end home furnishings.

Early Life

Jacques was born in Paris in 1917. He was accepted into the École Boulle when he was only 13 years old. He remained to live in Paris after graduating in 1934, working for the renowned Primavera of Printemps boutiques. In 1939, he was engaged by Mobilor as a designer to oversee the company’s school furniture design and manufacture. Mobilor made Jacques Hitier’s earliest models, and they included his signature tubular metal frame style. He also designed an earlier Mullca 300 type for Mobilor.

Mobilor child’s chair by Jacques Hitier, 1940s
Mobilor child’s chair by Jacques Hitier, 1940s

Exhibitions after Second World war

After the war, he founded his design studio with two years of experience working as a designer for the National Bank of Commerce. This was also around his initial participation in significant design shows, such as the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1949. (directed by Jacques Adnet).

His elegant and functional school furniture gained a lot of attention in the design world. It wasn’t long until Tubauto decided to hire him as a designer/advisor for making tubular metal furniture for the house. The Salon des Arts Ménagers included several of these creations (supervised by Marcel Gascoin).

Coffee Table, Jacques Hitier, 1952
Coffee Table, Jacques Hitier, 1952

Collaborations with Tubauto

He collaborated with the manufacturer Tubauto for 15 years while still working as a furniture designer for public spaces. Many innovative furniture models resulted from the partnership. Hitier’s hallmark of a tubular metal frame with soft materials like wood, cloth, and rattan was used in the majority of the designs. This kind of collaboration between a designer and a manufacturer was unprecedented at the time.

He routinely entered design competitions and exhibited his new models until the 1970s at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and the Salon des Arts Ménagers.

He worked with MBO, La Méridienne, Multiplex, Durand, Glaces Marly, and Crozatier, among others, in addition to Tubauto.

The École Boulle et Interior Architect

Jacques Hitier’s entire life has been driven by a desire to share his skills with aspiring new designers. His affiliation with the École Boulle, where he was a Specialized Teacher (1946-1964), Academic Dean (1964-1972), and then Director, demonstrates this (1972-1982).

He also influenced the evolution of design as a profession. He considered that the designer’s trade had changed dramatically since the war’s end. Therefore he made some adjustments to the most prominent designer organisation, the Société des artists décorateurs (SAD), which dated back to the Art Deco movement. He refocused the confederation on interior architecture issues in 1961. He also founded and led the CAIM (Createurs d’Architecture d’Intérieur et de Modèles) from 1962 to 1969.


Wikipedia contributors. (2021, February 23). Jacques Hitier. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:57, August 31, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jacques_Hitier&oldid=1008520124

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