Jean Prouvé was born in Paris in 1901, and trained as a metal artisan under some of the best teachers in the city. In 1924, he opened his own workshop, and began producing furnishings from formed sheet steel, before establishing his own manufacturing firm, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, in 1930. Producing numerous furniture designs in steel, and later in wood, Prouvé expanded his practice into creating prefabricated parts for simple housing development, before returning to furniture later in his life. Much of his furniture design is characterised by his goal of uniting functional requirements, an honest use of materials and economical concerns, with the complexities and demands of mass production. Prouvé died in 1984, yet his great talent and innovation has been carried on by his family, who have collaborated with Vitra to produce re-editions of many of his designs.

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