Hifalutin art snobs say that designers don’t qualify as artists because they’re constrained by budget, production specifications, and the unglamorous nuts-and-bolts parts needed to make things functional. In our mind, that’s like saying sonnets don’t qualify as poetry because of the rhyming. Artists cause shifts in any medium, and whether he was designing razors and fondue pots or dining room sets, airport departure lounges, and the private quarters of French presidents, Pierre Paulin “found a way of thinking about design which supplanted everything that had gone before.” His art chops are on full display in the seventy sketches included in this fantastic book, along with superb photos of popera designs like the Oyster and Orange Slice chairs, and the Tongue chaise lounge. Paulin upended midcentury design in 1960s Paris, whether the snobs admit it or not.
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