When she saw an hospital for the first time in her life, she fell in love with it - she said-. All that white, all that emptiness which can contain everything.
This was the first time she shows her innovative mind of progressive designer. She has been able to create an aesthetic based on utility and rationality at the service of a better world.
“We don’t embroider pillows here”. This was what Charles-Édouard Jeanette-Gris, more known as Le Corbusier, told her when she knocked at his door the first time.
Less than a month later, the Master met Charlotte Perriand at Salon d’Automne and he was left speechless by her Bar Sous le Toit, an innovative installation at the time, which overthrow the typical disposition of middle-class houses: the composition consisted in a bar and a dinning room, all made in aluminium and copper, coated by nichel, hard materials with high reflection, really far from art déco statements.
But who is Charlotte Perriand?
Born in Paris in 1903, she started her career as a designer early, by graduating at École de l’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs in 1925.
Bound to made a revolution in design world and as a woman of the 20th century.
Her cultural heritage is the result of travels that Charlotte started to do at a young age all over the world, also to Russia and Japan.
In 1927, a little time after their meeting at Salon d’Automne that year, Charlotte starts working in Le Courbusier studio where she was responsible of research and development of interiors.
Works realised by Charlotte are still iconic nowadays, as for example her library Nuage, Ombre chair and the Chaise Longue signed with Le Corbusier and more, still in production today.
“Life is made out of flexibility and play, it takes a certain amount of playfulness for life to live: the wood plays, cement plays, the pupil expands and adapts, thus of all living things.”
In a world where architecture was almost entirely a man thing, Charlotte Perriand became an example of emancipation both as a professional as well as an individual.
Her creations were inspired by a concept extremely precise and revolutionary: storage. And all of us should be grateful to her for that, and for the beauty she brought to the world.
She was known as the Invisible Woman, the one behind Le Courbusier’s works, and it takes a long time for her to be recognized as creator or contributor.
After all, as they say… Behind every great man there is a great woman rolling her eyes.