Jacques Hitier (1917-1999)

Jacques Hitier (28 March 1917 – 5 March 1999) was a French interior architect and designer. Director of the Paris L’École Boulle, School for Fine Arts and Crafts, he has been described as one of the most prominent figures of decorative art.

Modernité industrielle by Jacques Hitier.
Jacques Hitier, Modernité industrielle

Image source:http://www.librairie7l.com/jacques-hitier-modernite-industrielle-pierre-gencey-book.php

After the Second World War, he specialized in designing工业家具for public environments such asschoolsandgovernment buildings. He showed all his artwork atSalon des Artistes Décorateursand atSalon des Arts Ménagers.Hitier also designed more upscale and high-end home furnishings.

The Life of the Iconic Post-War French Designer

Jacques was born inParis in 1917and at the early age of13, he was accepted into the renownedÉcole Boulle. Graduating in1934, he continued to live inParis, working for the famed manufacturerPrimavera of Printemps stores. In1939, he was hired byMobiloras a designer to direct the company’s design and production of school furniture.
After the war and with2 yearsexperience of working as a designer for the National Bank of Commerce, he set up his own design agency. This coincided with his first involvement in some major design exhibitions such as theSalon des Artistes Décorateur in 1949, under the direction ofJacques Adnet.

Hisstylishandpractical school furniturebecame highly regarded within the design community and it was not long before the manufacturerTubautodecided to recruit him as a designer for creating tubular metal furniture for the home. He teamed up with Tubauto for 15 years and the collaboration spawned many new models of furniture. At that time, this kind ofassociation between a designer and a manufacturer was unique.

Throughout his life,Jacques Hitierwas always driven by thewish of sharing his knowledgewith aspiring young designers. This is shown by his relationship with theÉcole Boulleof which he was aSpecialized Teacher(1946-1964), Academic Dean (1964-1972) and subsequentlyDirector(1972-1982).

French Vintage MCA School Desk by Jacques Hitier for Mullca, 1950s.
French Vintage MCA School Desk by Jacques Hitier for Mullca, 1950s

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Jacques Hitier’s Career and Aesthetic

The first models of Jacques Hitier were produced byMobilorin1939, these early designs already showed hishallmark tubular metal frame style. For Mobilor, he also designed an earlier model of the popularMullca 300 school chair.

In addition to his work withTubauto, he also worked with other mass furniture producers such asMBO, La Méridienne, Multiplex, Durand, Glaces MarlyandCrozatier. He made a personal signature out of tubular metal frame with soft materials such as wood, fabric, and rattan. He also made an impact on theevolution of design as a trade. He believed that the trade of a designer had changed greatly since the end of the War, and so he undertook some changes in the major designer confederation, called theSociété des artistes décorateurs(SAD)which dated back to the Art Deco movement. In 1961, he refocused this confederation into Interior architecture matters.

He also created the unionCréateurs d’Architecture d’Intérieur et de Modèles(CAIM)which he headed-up from1962to1969.

Image source:https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Jacques_Hitier

Which are Hitier’s Most Famous Works?

Jacques Hitier produced many designs, among which:bedside tables, mirrors, chairs and lounge chairs, nightstands, bar carts, desks, coffee tables,anda camping set.

He also designed several pieces of furniture with a special focus onschool environments, such as the famousSchool chairand a desk known as theModel Ètudiant Suspended. These works, as well as the majority of Hitier production, are realized in wood and tubular metal bent to form different frames.

Two of his most successful works are theCoffee Table No 34and theMullca 300, better known simply as the School Chair.

The first, a round coffee table, features a top inoak-veneered plywoodover atubular black-lacquered metalbase. It is the perfect example of how Hitier, together with Tubauto, created a style in which地铁成为了装饰.

Image source:https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Jacques_Hitier

Made in 1949, Hitier’sMullca 300is a little vintagenursery school chair. The seat is made ofplywoodand its back, atubular structure painted in green, extends to serve as armrests. The Mobilor company also produced a very similar model, equally designed by Jaques Hitier. Both models are often misattributed to the French designerMarcel Gascoin.

Set of 2 chairs by Jacques Hitier for Tubauto.
Set of 2 chairs by Jacques Hitier for Tubauto

Image source:https://www.vntg.com/152277/set-of-2-chairs-by-jacques-hitier-for-tubauto/

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