Life of Jacques Hitier

Jacques Hitier is a French furniture creator, designer and interior architect with key achievements from the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s.

He is born on 28 March 1917.

He is part of a generation of designers and architects who accumulated experiences before the second war world and lead the trajectories of the design domain during Reconstruction.

He is a figure of industrial design with his iconic style. However, his work spectrum is broad with his multiple hats as:

  • Interior architect
  • Industrial designer
  • Furniture creator/designer
  • Decorative artist/decorator
  • Transmitter of knowledge
  • Thinker for all category of design

In his book, Patrick Favardin introduces him as “one of the most prominent figures of decorative art of the second half of the twentieth century”.

Jacques Hitier’s style uses a tubular metal frame. This hallmark is featured in most of his work from early stage.

He was also a director of the Paris L’École Boulle, School for Fine Arts and Crafts and Applied Arts, from 1972 to 1982.

After the Second War World, he specialized in designing industrial furniture for public environments such as schools and government buildings.

He showed all his artwork at Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and at Salon des Arts Ménagers. Hitier also designed more upscale and high-end home furniture.

Early life and education

Son of a sculptor in wood, Jacques, Vincent, Paul Hitier was born in Paris in 1917. When he was just 13 years old and a half, he was accepted into the École Boulle.

Having graduated in 1934, he continued to live in Paris.

From 1934 to 1939, he worked for the famed manufacturer Primavera for the stores of Printemps creation. But he didn’t stay long.

In 1937, he was hired by a friend of his parent who founded the company named Mobilor where they specialized in furniture for schools.

As head of design, he directed the company’s design and was in charge the production.

Mobilor produced the first models of Jacques Hitier, designs which used his hallmark tubular metal frame style. For Mobilor, he also designed an earlier model of the Mullca 300.

First Exhibitions of the creator in the 50s after the Second World War

After the war and with 2 years experience of working as a designer for National Bank of Commerce and Industry (from 1944 to 1946), he set up his own design agency.

He specialized in the creation of industrial furniture for small communities and housing.

This coincided with his first involvement in some major design exhibitions such as the Salon des Artistes Décorateur in 1949 (directed by Jacques Adnet).

His stylish and practical school furniture became highly regarded within the design community and it was not long before the manufacturer Tubauto, decide to recruit him as a designer/advisor for creating tubular metal furniture for the home.

Some of these designs were exhibited in the Salon des Arts Ménagers (supervised by Marcel Gascoin).

Designer/Advisor Collaboration with Tubauto from the 50s

Whilst still working as a designer of furniture for public environments, he teamed up with the manufacturer Tubauto for 15 years.

The collaboration spawned many new models of furniture. Most of the designs continued to use Hitier’s signature of a tubular metal frame with soft materials such as wood, fabric and rattan.

At that time, this kind of association between a designer and a manufacturer was unique.

He frequently took part in design contests and continued to exhibit his new models at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs and at the Salon des Arts Ménagers until the 70s.

In addition to his work with Tubauto, he also worked with other mass furniture producers such as MBO, La Méridienne, Multiplex, Durand, Glaces Marly and Crozatier.

The École Boulle et Interior Architect to share his experience & knowledge of the designer

Directed towardsteachning

Throughout his life, Jacques Hitier was always driven by the wish to share his knowledge with aspiring young designers.

This is shown by his relationship with the École Boulle of which he was a Specialized Teacher (1946-1964), Academic Dean (1964-1972) and subsequently Director (1972-1982).

He also made an impact in the evolution of design as a trade.

He believed that the trade of a designer had changed greatly since the end of the War, and so he undertook some changes in the major designer confederation, called the Société des artistes décorateurs (SAD) which dated back to the Art Deco movement.

In 1961, he refocused this confederation into Interior architecture matters.

Union movement

He also created the union Créateurs d’Architecture d’Intérieur et de Modèles (CAIM) which he headed-up from 1962 to 1969.

President of a national union of creators of architectures in interior design and models (1962 to 1968)

President of honor of the National Union of architects of interior design.

Administrator of the central union of decorative arts.

Member of the society of artistic decorators (since 1951)

Member of the society to maintain and encourage the jobs relating to art (since 1983)

Member of the national community fot the education artistic

Member of the association of domestic art (since 1982)

Gold medal fo the exhibition Universel of Bussels

Gold medal for the society for the encouragement of industrial art

If you need further information about the creator, designer & interior architect Jacques Hitier…

… we will be pleased to hear from you.