Former Laureates

Jean Prouvé

Jean Prouvé

1981

The Erasmus Prize for industrial design was awarded to Jean Prouvé. The striking facade of the Faculty of Medicine in Rotterdam with its plates designed by Jean Prouvé is his only work in the Netherlands.
Jean Prouvé, a ‘constructeur’ trained as a smith and craftsman, has succeeded in achieving a convincing combination of artistic creativity, craftsmanship and industrialisation. In a visionary spirit he has proposed solutions for council housing based on a clear, consistent concept with an eye for technical feasibility and mass production. Prouvé always thought in terms of the integration of architecture and industry. In his work he often applied new materials and succeeded in achieving a combination of modern technology and design. The building-components and connecting-techniques he developed, are particularly skilful and original. Emerging from the traditional and socially engaged environment of the ‘Ecole de Nancy’, Prouvé soon changed from ironwork to designing furniture and constructing houses. Together with Le Corbusier and Jeanneret he was the co-founder of the ‘Union des Artistes Modernes’ in 1930. In the years 1924-1952 Prouvé became well-known for the products of his factory at Maxéville. In the years since he worked mainly as an adviser and teacher.
On the occasion of the award ceremony, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen hosted an exhibition devoted to the versatile work of Jean Prouvé. Prouvé died in 1984 in Nancy at the age of 82.

The ‘constructeur’ Jean Prouvé decided to use his prize to support the Société d’HLM Emmaüs. This section of the Emmaüs movement in France is concerned with subsidized housing for the needy. The money was used for a study of the construction of pavilions to be built largely of wood.

Jean Prouvé's Designs

The Erasmus Prize for industrial design was awarded to Jean Prouvé in 1981.