Swiss born, Le Corbusier is one of the most famous French modern furniture designers and architects whose career crossed over 50 years of contemporary furniture design. Internationally acclaimed for his architectural work too, Le Corbusier was actually born as Charles-Edourd Jeanneret, but earned his name in the 1920s supposedly from a distant family member, but others have said it was a derogatory name that he happened to adopt.
Le Corbusier, however, regardless of which name he went under was a prolific architect who traveled internationally deisnging homes. Early on he studied at La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School before traveling then settling for a bit in Paris. Then he studied architecture in Austria with Josef Hoffman, another prominent architect and furniture designer. He continued his travels world, though he hid out during World War I in Switzerland where he began focusing on modern furniture and architectural techniques including the Dom-ino house with an open floor plan that led his designs for a decade.
His forays into contemporary furniture design truly began in 1928 when he started working with the architect Charlotte Perriand along with is cousin Pierre Jeanneret. Le Corbusier took a unique perspective on modern furniture, looking at what he called three different groups of furniture: type needs, type furniture and human limb objects. Defined in one of his books called l’Art Decoratif d’aujourd’hui. To him, modern furniture was an extension of our bodys and should flow as our limbs do.
His modern tubular furniture started with a modern steel chair crafted with cushioning and he is well known for his modern and contemporary furniture styles of the time such as his lounge chaise and the Grand Confort chair. He began leading what was called the International style of furniture and focused on aesthetics and functionality.
The main idea behind his furniture design is his concept of “Modulor” a technique used to determine the number of units in architecture. Seen easily in the design of his armchair LC3, one of his most popular and emulated pieces of modern furniture, the concept ruled the shapes of his design. Despite the unusualness of the design at the time, the chrome and leather padded chair is almost cubic in appearance but is extremely comfortable to sit on. But this is only one piece of his contemporary furniture that became popular. His LC4 Lounge chair design has been emulated a thousand times over due to its unique shaped that follows human form and encourages relaxation and lounging.