Some designs from the past remain unsurpassed and never lose their vitality or relevance. This is certainly true for the Standard Chair and the Chaise Tout Bois by French designer and ‘constructeur’ Jean Prouvé.Trained as a metal artisan, Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) was both the designer and the manufacturer of his own product ideas. His exceptional oeuvre encompasses almost anything that is suited to industrial production methods – including lighting, furniture, modular building systems and prefabricated houses.A prime example of this approach is Prouvé’s Standard Chair, whose elegant rear frame section made from thin bent sheet steel resembles the shape of an aircraft wing that has its widest measurement at the point where the legs meet the seat frame – in other words, where the stress is the greatest. During the Second World War, when metal was in short supply, Prouvé began experimenting with a wooden version of this design, which eventually resulted in the Chaise Tout Bois – his only chair made entirely of wood.
With its wide back legs, metal base, and wood seat, the Prouvé Standard Chair is one of the most recognizable and distinctive furniture icons of the 20th century. The Standard SP (2013), or Siège en Plastique, introduces a new material to the iconic steel and wood chair, maintaining the same unmistakable design profile as its forebear, the Standard Chair. With Chaise Tout Bois, Standard and Standard SP, Jean Prouvé's iconic silhouette is now available in three product designs with different material and colour options that can be perfectly combined.
Invest in an original, for it will always retain its worth. An imitation will never be anything but a copy, a stolen idea. Appreciate the differences – not just the quality and more obvious variances but also the sensory and emotional appeal of the authentic product. An original is a lifelong companion and may well outlive you to be gratefully received by the next generation.