Charlotte Perriand’s Équipement : Beyond Modern Furniture

by

Mónica Cruz Guáqueta

Keywords

  • female architects
  • domestic equipment
  • Modern architecture
  • mass media
  • decorative arts
  • social studies
  • domesticity

This article is part of the research process for the author’s PhD dissertation, concerning the theoretical framework in which the concepts of “domestic equipment” and “art d’habiter” develop in Charlotte Perriand’s work. Despite being a key concept regarding the transformation of modern houses, “equipment” has been overlooked by the main historiography of domestic architecture. This concept, which epitomizes the opposition towards styles and historical approaches to the home’s interior, has been used more often as a descriptive word for “furniture of the Modern Movement” rather than a theoretical term. The article’s intention is to outline the emergence of the term linked to two episodes of Charlotte Perriand’s work: 1929’s “Equipment of a Dwelling” and 1936’s “Low-cost Living-room.” Her work is approached from the point of view of a woman who challenged feminine roles of the society of her time and intended to improve women’s lives through the development of domestic équipement, both as a theoretical concept and a practical methodology.