Jean Prouvé

Jean Prouvé was a French metal worker, self-taught architect and designer. His main achievement was transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture, without losing aesthetic qualities.

Jean Prouvé was born 1901 in Paris and trained as a metal artisan. His career saw him opening his own workshop in Nancy; a manufacturing firm, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, which made numerous furniture designs in the 1930s and 1940s; and the Maxéville factory, a facility of 25,000 square metres in which 200 employees made furnishings, prefabricated homes and schools.

He later worked as head of the construction office of CIMT, the French company that builds railways, tramlines and metro lines, and ran his own architectural consulting firm in Paris from 1968 to 1984.
Prouvé also had a strong social conscience: he was Active in the French Résistance during World War II, was elected mayor of Nancy after the city was liberated, and he designed and constructed residential buildings for the homeless.

As chairman of the jury for the Centre Pompidou architectural competition in 1971, he played a major role in selecting the now world-renowned design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. He died in Nancy in 1984.
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