The Indochine chair was first conceived of during Perriand’s time in Vietnam during World War II – envisioned as an adaptation of the designer’s collaborative LC7 swivel chair (siège tournant, fauteuil) that was originally designed as a dining chair for the Villa Church in 1928 and exhibited at the 1929 Salon d’Automne with a number of collaborative pieces with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. While the forms are similar, Indochine features a frame constructed of wood rather than tubular steel.
Indochine was created in the 1940s while Perriand was living abroad during the war. A planned six-month trip to Japan in 1940 ultimately became six years away from Europe – two in Japan where she was eventually forced to leave as an “undesirable alien” and the balance of four years in Vietnam. The Indochine chair was never mass-produced. Working carefully with the designer’s archives, Cassina has recently introduced the Indochine chair with a frame in solid walnut or black-stained ash. Like Perriand’s LC7 chair from the 1920s, Indochine also swivels. Its back is padded with CFC-free polyurethane foam; its seat padded in CFC-polyurethane foam along with polyester wadding. Indochine is available in an array of textile or leather upholstery.
We have noted here our favorite options: Ashwood stained black frame with the super Lux Pelle Natural 13Z360 natural leather or Natural Walnut frame with Pelle Natural 13Z361 tobacco leather. Pelle Natural is a natural full grain leather that has been aniline vat dyed. Imperfections and unevenness are characteristic of this type leather which has not been corrected in any way: This guarantees the maximum degree of beauty and feel of true leather.
In her eight-decade career, Charlotte Perriand contributed to countless design projects that allowed her to experiment with material. She explored working with tubular steel furniture, natural pieces in ebonized wood, bamboo furniture in Japan, and more. Paying close attention to the functionality of the furniture and the arrangement of the interior environment, Perriand designed pieces that were meant to be comfortably used and enjoyed in a space, as evidenced in her famed 1959 daybed or curved-back LC7 chair. Her revolutionary user-centric approach helped establish her as a seminal figure in the modernist design movement whose legacy endures to this day.
Not long after graduating from Ecole de L'Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Perriand impressed critics with “Bar Under the Roof,” an installation featuring an aluminum and chrome bar counter and card table presented at the Salon d’Automne in 1927. The showcase established her as an avant-garde talent to watch and wowed a personal icon of hers, Le Corbusier—who invited her to join his studio and work on furniture designs with him and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. The trio went on to craft some of the most enduring modern furniture pieces of the 20th century, such as the widely collected LC4 chaise longue, today produced by Cassina.