French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand, was one of the first women to conquer the man-dominated world of architecture and design in her career spanning over 4 decades. After initially being denied a job at Le Corbussier's studio, with the famous reply "We don’t embroider cushions here", a persistent Charlotte Perriand continued developing her own work, until she was eventually hired in 1927, when she was just 24 years old. The main work that got Le Corbussier’s attention was the “Bar under the Roof”: a large bar made of anodized aluminum glass and nickel-plated chrome decoration she made for the famous Salon d’Automne. Charlotte Perriand got her start co designing 3 chairs with Le Courbousier, and Pierre Jeanneret for Corbusier's studio in 1928: one for conversation: the B301 sling back chair, another for relaxation: the LC2 Grand Comfort chair, and the last for sleeping: the B306 chaise longue.
In the 1930s, she went on to further develop a populist and egalitarian philosophy of furniture design and became one of the most prolific and sought after furniture designers of the 20th century. Charlotte Perriand’s presence in the Le Corbusier studio is visible in all the works designed with him and Pierre Jeanneret, thus making Charlotte Perriand a cornerstone in the reformation project promoted by Le Corbusier, while also adding a distinct dimension of humaneness to his cold rationalism.
The ten-year long collaboration with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, and her Japanese experience in the 1940s, represent periods of intense creativity. During her long stay in the Japan and Vietnam (1940-1946), she rediscovered her artistic talent, combining tradition and modernity. An example of the influence this period carried on her work are her designs using traditional bamboo processing techniques, capable of enhancing the new forms already experimented using steel-tubing, while making the design more affordable, which is consistent with her egalitarian ideology. She wrote in 1981, “The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living—living in harmony with man’s deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment.”