Le Corbusier, (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-born French architect. In 1917, he moved to Paris and assumed the pseudonym Le Corbusier, an alteration of his grandfather’s last name, to reflect his belief that anyone could reinvent himself.
An poignant critic of finely crafted furniture made with rare and exotic woods, Le Corbusier presented at the 1925 International Exposition in Paris. It was only in 1928, when his theories were published, that Corbusier began experimenting with furniture design.
Here are some not-so-famous facts about this numero uno architect and city planner:
- Le Corbusier goes by the name of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret originally. He chose this name in 1920 after publishing a manifesto, which is a different version of his grandmother’s name, Lecorbésier.
- Le Corbusier’s design philosophy was heavily inspired by mathematical concepts used by Leonardo da Vinci, which he used as the basis for his architectural proportions.
- Le Corbusier collaborated with the architect Charlotte Perriand and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret to design iconic, modernist furniture. He was quoted as saying: “Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois.”
- Le Corbusier designed the first planned city in India – Chandigarh. The layout was based on the plans he conceptualized in his book La Ville Radieuse (The Radiant City).
- Le Corbusier’s famous saying, “Architecture or Revolution,” came from his belief that an efficient, industrialized architecture was the only way to avoid class-based revolution.
- Le Corbusier’s office had no windows and was air-conditioned, a kind of cell. This way he believed his clients would speak concisely and objectively.
- From around 1918 onwards, Le Corbusier was nearly blind in one eye, and was known to argue that his glasses should therefore be half price.