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Design Miami 2016 | Galerie Downtown Presents Franco-Indian Retrospective

The design works of Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret will be on display in the forthcoming Design Miami.

Akil Wingateby Akil Wingate
Photo: Laffanour Galerie Downtown, courtesy of Design Miami.

Design Miami anticipates a great many new works and ideas fit to take architectural and interior design into the future. But it will also present plenty that reminds us of the stunning achievements of the past. One particular installation takes a look back at a Franco-Indian collaboration that served as both a design project and a daring exercise in diplomacy. It will be 65 years since Charles Edouard Jeanneret, aka Le Corbusier, was commissioned by the Indian government to lead the Chandigarh project.

Gandhi Bhawan at Punjab University

Gandhi Bhawan at Punjab University. Photo courtesy of Shubh Singh, published under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

What did it entail? Only designing a “new city the size of a capital.” The colossal project was spearheaded by Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, who oversaw the construction of many of the administrative buildings that his more famous cousin designed. He was also esponsible for a significant amount of designing for the Panjab University, including the Gandhi Bhawan (pictured here) and the University Library, and worked with a number of Indian architects, including S.D. Sharma.

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Pierre was also a furniture designer, and it is these more intimate and equally iconic design pieces of both Jeanneret and Le Corbusier’s repertoire which are to feature heavily at Laffanour Galerie Downtown’s installation at Design Miami this year. Jeanneret made a name for himself co-designing with his cousin the “Easy Chair (Fauteuil Grand Confort)” in 1928, the Scissor Chair he supplied to Knoll USA and his unforgettable rocking chair. These pieces, some of which Jeanneret first designed in the 1930s, still remain relevant today in both offices and homes.

Pierre Jeanneret (1896 – 1967), "Sofa High Court". Circa 1955; Provenance: Commande spéciale pour la ville de Chandigarh, Haute Cour de Justice.

Pierre Jeanneret (1896 – 1967), “Sofa High Court”. Circa 1955; Provenance: Commande spéciale pour la ville de Chandigarh, Haute Cour de Justice. Photo courtesy of GalerieDowntown.com.

Jeanneret made exemplary use of glass, steel and leather to create a line of products that retain both functional comfort and a French touch of luxury. Laffanour Galerie Downtown will fondly highlight his and the efforts of a great many Indian architects and designers, presenting a look back at the historic collaboration as a stepping stone for contemporaries forge ahead with new works.