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Pierre Paulin

Pierre Paulin
Born in Paris in 1927, he had a French father and a German-speaking Swiss mother. He was as well the nephew of Georges Paulin who designed vehicles and invented the first mechanical retractible hardtop roof. Pierre Paulin had failed his Baccalauréat and moved on to train as a ceramist in Vallaurius and then as a stone-carver in Burgundy. Training as a sculptor, he would get into a fight that injured his right arm ending his dreams as a sculptor. He attend the Ecole Camondo in Paris afterwards. Relations with the Gascoin company, he would gain interest in Scandinavian and Japanese design which would influence his works later on.

Pierre Paulin had his debut exhibition at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1953. Afterwards, his would appear on the cover of the magazine La Maison Française. A year later he would be employed by the Thonet company and began experimenting with stretching swimwear materials over traditionally made chairs.[1] Around 4 years later he would join the Maastricht-based Dutch manufacturers Artifort. Working at Artifort he would become famous worldwide with his Mushroom chair (1960). At his time working for Artifort, Paulin quoted "It represented the first full expression of my abilities. I considered the manufacture of chairs to be rather primitive and I was trying to think up new processes" he said in 2008, he worked with foams and rubbers from Italy all worked around a light metallic frame. He would then use a new stretch material over the chair. His designs were focused on applied design rather than focusing on form with comfort as his chair's starting-point.[2] The combination of these materials made Paulin's chair designs made rounder, and comfortable shapes that are still being used in chairs today.

During the 70's and 80's he was invited to decorate and furnish several important places for important people. He redecorated the living, dining, smoking and exhibition rooms of the Elysée's private apartments for Pompidou in 1971. In 1983 he furnished the office of François Mitterrand. In 1979 he launched his own consultancy and worked for Calor, Ericsson, Renault, Saviem, Tefal, Thomson and Airbus.

In 1994 he would retire to the Cévennes in southern France but would still continue on designing furniture. He died on the 13th of June, 2009 in a hospital in Montpellier, France.



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