Back to the top

Emmanuel de Bayser: A portait of a Prouvé collector

Emmanuel de Bayser is a design enthusiast who lives and works between Paris and Berlin.

‘I was 20 when I started collecting design. At first I concentrated on Americans like Charles and Ray Eames, as well as contemporary or historical post-war pieces, and later also Jean Prouvé. I liked the optimism, the colours, the newness of post-war design. There was a sense of upward momentum, and people had a positive outlook towards the future. You can recognise that in the designs. Eclecticism – combining old and new pieces, things that seem to be incompatible – is the most difficult.

‘I really like his architectural approach. I think that’s what’s most interesting about Prouvé. It’s the metal structure that really reminds you of a building.’
Emmanuel de Bayser

I like to use colour accents, to combine three or four colours that go well together. Prouvé’s architectural approach appeals to me, the way he combines materials like wood and metal to create contrasts. A lot of his furniture pieces have a constructivist quality – for example, when they have a metal frame. I like wood, especially in combination with other materials like ceramic. I love contrasts.

When I come home in the evening, I want peace and quiet. Beautiful objects have something meditative about them. We live in a globalised society and – when there isn’t a coronavirus going around – people are constantly on the go and are always interacting with one another. So it will become increasingly important to have a cocoon at home, an inner world where you feel safe and secure.’