Joseph-André Motte is a French designer, one of the most influential and innovative figures of the post-war era.
After graduating valedictorian of his class from the École des Arts Appliqués à l’Industrie in Paris in 1948, he began his career with architects and designers such as René Gabriel and Louis Sognot. In 1954, he founded the Atelier de Recherche Plastique with Pierre Guariche and Michel Mortier, before working for the Group 4 together with René-Jean Caillette, Geneviève Dangles, and Alain Richard. His designs quickly gained recognition with their precision, rationality, and harmony, often featuring simple materials.
He collaborated with numerous editors and institutions: he was commissioned for the layout and the sofa designs for the Orly airport in 1958. He also created the famous shell chairs and white tiles for the Parisian subway in 1974.
Gradually retiring from interior and furniture design, he devoted himself to teaching and influenced generations of designers. Motte had positions at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Ensad), the École Boulle and the École Camondo. In 1970, he was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for the Graphis desk. He was also awarded as a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
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