May 24, 2009

Avril 68! To The Prisunic Furniture Catalogue, Citoyens!


Spectaculaire. Except for the launch date, which turned out to be a couple of weeks before France imploded in a massive wildcat strike and student revolt, the affordable furniture collection launched by the French department store Prisunic looks damn near perfect.

From 1968 until 1977, Prisunic, the Target of its day/country, filled its revolutionary mail order catalogue with swanky modern furniture from popular designers like Marc Held, Gae Aulenti and Terence Conran as well as its in-house design team, Prisunic Studio.

Last fall, VIA organized an exhibition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Prisunic catalogue, and they pulled together examples of the furniture from museums and collections--and even refabricated some pieces. VIA has some giant images of the exhibition as well as scans from vintage catalogues.

The awesome molded plastic beds above were by Marc Held, for example. The single-piece construction had an integrated nightstand and lamp, and two single beds could be joined together to make a double. Maybe they're too awkward to throw out, because it happens that a pair of Held's Prisunic beds are on eBay France right now, minus the lamps, and with local pickup outside Paris required by June 5th.


Another kid-friendly favorite is the Tubes collection from Prisunic Studio. Simple but slick bent tubular steel combined with canvas seats and white laminate desktops to make an awesome, cheap-looking room. And there's a bed, too. While I can't find any of these lurking around online, they look easy enough to refabricate. Start with the desk, please, and make two.


PRISUNIC & LE DESIGN, une aventure unique: Galerie VIA du 05/09/08 au 30/11/08
[ via atelier]
Rare Lit Marc Held Prisunic Design Année 70, currently EUR499, local pickup in St Denis only, auction ends 30 May []

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