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Charlotte Perriand

Biography

Charlotte Perriand (24 October 1903 – 27 October 1999) was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. In her article "L'Art de Vivre" from 1981 she states "The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living — living in harmony with man's deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment." Charlotte liked to take her time in a space before starting the design process. In Perriand's Autobiography, "Charlotte Perriand: A Life of Creation", she states: "I like being alone when I visit a country or historic site. I like being bathed in its atmosphere, feeling in direct contact with the place without the intrusion of a third party." Her approach to design includes taking in the site and appreciating it for what it is. Perriand felt she connected with any site she was working with or just visiting she enjoyed the living things and would reminisce on a site that was presumed dead.

Perriand was born in Paris, France, to a tailor and a seamstress. Her high school art teacher noticed her drawing abilities early on, and her mother eventually encouraged her to enroll in the École de L'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs (="School of the Central Union of Decorative Arts") in 1920 to study furniture design until 1925. One of her noted teachers during this period was Art Deco interior designer Henri Rapin. Perriand continued her education through attending department store classes that provided design workshops. She also went to lectures by Maurice Dufrêne, the studio director of workshop 'La Maîtrise'. In 1925, her projects from schoolwork were selected to be a part of the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Dufrêne also put her wall-hanging designs on display at the Galeries Lafayette around this time.

In 1926 Perriand married her first husband, Percy Kilner Scholefield, and they converted their attic apartment into a 'machine age' interior. In 1930 Charlotte and Percy separated and she moved to Montparnasse. She had a daughter born in 1944, Pernette, with her second husband, Jacques Martin, who worked alongside her mother for over 25 years.[12]

She died three days after her 96th birthday in 1999.

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