The architect and his time: Jean Prouvé, a builder (extract 1/8) 1975

Directed by Jean-Marc Leuwen, Hubert Damisch and Stanislas Faure, 1975. Duration: 61'21". © INA.


Jean Prouvé: Yet my satisfaction, and that of some of my colleagues at the time, is what I was saying earlier that we didn’t lose any time, and that I don’t believe. Because we made a place for today’s architecture. We did it too soon. Perhaps it would have happened without us. Later. I think that it is always dangerous to arise too early. Because when you arise too early you shake people up, which means that people can easily hold you at arm’s length. Every time that I have exhibited constructions like these ones, there has been an immediate acquiescence by the people who came to see. Which tells me that, it tells you a lot about the French, about people who are used to their old architecture and a thatched cottage is incredibly beautiful when it is authentic and that we should industrially reproduce what they like. You can’t industrialise a thatched cottage, it’s ridiculous. Citroën did not industrialise Louis XIV’s carriage. They brought out something new. It is up to us to do the same thing in building. And let’s judge our compatriots a little better, by assuming that if we show them things, they might come running. But we mustn’t tell them, we must show them. I think that one advantage of what we did at Maxéville is that we showed what we were doing.