Hands that See: the CNAM Lectures

Jean-Louis Cohen 

After the Maxéville workshops closed down, and while he was still head of the CIMT (Compagnie Industrielle de Matériel de Transport), Jean Prouvé had the opportunity, for around twelve years, to express his ideas about the world and his work method before attentive audiences at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (national conservatory of arts and crafts). This engagement, which could have been simply a means to bring him personal recognition – or consolation –, provided him with a chance to pass on his experience to his following, and to give it a specific and organized form. Created in 1794, the CNAM has in the course of its history gathered a mixed public of researchers and experienced engineers, as well as paid staff, seeking further training or specialization at a top educational center. This conventional audience grew again with several hundreds of architecture students who, riled by the abstraction of the Beaux-Arts courses, religiously went to the amphitheater on Rue Saint-Martin to listen to – and watch – Prouvé give his lessons... [+]

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