The second instalment of our series introduces design legends: George Nakashima and Charlotte Perriand.
3. GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 – 1990)
Having originally trained as an architect, by the time of his death in 1990, Nakashima was considered as the father of the American craft movement and one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design.
Not as widely known as some of the others on this list, Nakashima’s designs were a celebration of wood in its purest form. His hallmark Minguren pieces focussed on the meeting of nature and geometry. Here the wood became the decoration, and he often highlighting these raw edges or intricate grain patterns with contrasting traditional Japanese cabinetry techniques.
His most popular pieces are still very much in demand, with fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg reputably paying $130,500 for a 14ft table in 2002. His has been eclipsed numerous times since then with one table made in 1981 going for over $280,000 in 2007.
Notable Awards: In 1983, Nakashima was awarded The Order of the Sacred Treasure. In honour bestowed upon him by the Emperor of Japan.
Banda’s favoured Design: Conoid Bench
4. CHARLOTTE PERRIAND (1903 – 1999)
The first woman to work as an architect, designer and a planner, Charlotte Perriand played a major role in the early 20th century design – leaving her mark across the 20s to the 60s.
Perriand spent the first 10 years with Le Corbusier, although it very nearly didn’t happen. Striding into his studio in 1927 and asking him to hire her as a furniture designer, he reportedly showed her the door saying ‘we don’t embroider cushions here.’ At her exhibition at the Salon D’Automne, a few months later, he apologised and requested she join his studio.
Working alongside Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, Perriand started exploring the machine age aesthetic and applying this to interiors spaces. Specialising in steel, aluminium and glass she designed the LC2 Grand comfort chair, the B306 reclining chair and the B306 chaise lounge.
Upon leaving Le Corbusier’s Studio in 1937, Perriand later collaborated with Jean Prouve and later, once more with Pierre Jeanneret, designing prefabricated buildings. Remaining influential until her death, her work was recently celebrated in 2013, when Louis Vuitton constructed one of her unrealised 1934 designs (La Maison au Bord de L’Eau) for the Miami Design fair.
Banda’s favoured Design: Les Arcs Chair