Design Objects - Desk Compass (1948)

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Jean Prouvé did not make any difference between design and production, neither between architectural works and furniture: the economics of materials, assembly methods, and the aesthetics of the structure emerge regardless of its form or dimensions. To create pieces at a reasonable price point and easy to produce in series, he uses materials made for the aeronautics and automobile industry. 

Created in his laboratory at Maxèville, this elegant desk with explicit structure and constant pressure takes its name from the table base of a compass. The metallic elements on which the top table is placed in laminate are worked under a printing press and welded together, afterward varnished with automobile paint. 

During the years, this desk was made in several different versions, including the one made by Charlotte Perriand with plastic drawers. The compass structure was made in different shapes and dimensions according to the one made originally by Prouvé, like the one situated in the Social Security Department from Le Mans, or the one in the School Villejuif, or the bar area of Évian. The ease and versatility of its shape demonstrate how material, structure, and assembly method can be sufficient to create beauty. 

From 2003 until today, this table is producing the Italian based company Vitra.

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