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Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) is one of Modernism's inspirational heroines, a designer whose example makes others want to follow in her footsteps. In 1927, when she was only 24 years old, Perriand created Bar Under the Roof, a type of steel and aluminum furniture, for the Salon d'Automne of that year. Le Corbusier saw it and immediately decided to hire her, and in collaboration with him Perriand developed a series of tubular steel chairs that were soon hailed as icons of the Machine Age. She remained at Le Corbusier's studio for more than a decade, also collaborating with the artist Fernand Léger and the furniture designer Jean Prouvé. In 1940, Perriand was invited to Japan as Industrial Design Advisor for the Ministry of Trade and Industry. With the outbreak of World War II, and unable to travel home, she remained in Vietnam for four years, where she learned weaving, woodwork and the use of cane. After the war she pursued a primarily architectural practice, but her furniture design is as fresh today as it was 80 years ago. A supremely independent spirit, Perriand blazed the way for the acceptance of women in the male-dominated realms of design, interior design and architecture.
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