First created in 1940 by French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand, the Tokyo Dormeuse is being reintroduced by Cassina with a limited edition of 50 signed pieces. Local craftsman of Japan assembled the bamboo of the Tokyo Dormeuse into endless curves, creating a fully reclined dormouse and bringing nature into the home. Grade ZZ leather padding and a cylindrical pillow are placed on top of the bamboo for added comfort.
The Tokyo Dormeuse was a part of a collection patroned by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Japan, later exhibited in Tokyo and Osaka with the title “A Contribution to the Interior Furnishings of a House in the Year 2601. Selection, Tradition, Creation”. Perriand used traditional Japanese techniques to create a modern design and exhibited these creations in Tokyo and Osaka. According to Perriand, tradition and modernity were highly compatible; “the modern mind has a great affinity with the traditional principles of Japan”. Tokyo Chaise was also a part of the exhibition, another piece with an emphasis on cultural diversity and harmony with nature.
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.