In 1940, she was appointed Industrial Art Advisor to the Japanese government, and she stayed in Tokyo for six years, where she first encountered bamboo, which she started using tyen. One section of the exhibition explores this formative experience and the notion of inter-cultural dialogue, which she kept alive through her travels. She returned to France in 1946 where she was involved in several major reconstruction projects. In the early 1950s, she was asked to design La maison de Tunisie and La maison du Mexique at the Cité Universitaire de Paris. Originating from Savoie, she won widespread recognition between 1967 and 1989 for Les Arcs winter sports resort, which she designed almost from scratch. It was named a 20th-century heritage site by the French Ministry of Culture in 2006. Blending into the scenery, her organically shaped wooden and glass buildings hug the reliefs and slopes.
“When I have a blank page in front of me, I want to be twenty again,” she said, aged 90, the year she designed the UNESCO tearoom at the Japan Cultural Festival in Paris. A final, visionary act by the great designer, this open, temporary space foreshadowed the axioms of today’s design, where architecture, art and nature meet.
Until February 24.