L’Atelier de Recherche Plastique

As you will have understood, at the beginning of this new year we would like to highlight the great innovative minds of 20th century design! And among them, three young designers have particularly shone by their will to shake up the codes of classicism, we think of the French designers and founders of the Atelier de Recherche Plastique Pierre Guariche, Michel Mortier and Joseph-André Motte .

Joseph-André Motte and Michel Mortier met while studying at the Ecole des Arts Appliqués à l’Industrie and then joined the agency founded by the great French designer Marcel Gascoin. There they met Pierre Guariche, a graduate of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. They quickly realised that they shared a desire to change the codes of current design, to propose new forms and above all to make furniture accessible to as many people as possible. While participating in the 1954 Salon des Arts Ménagers, Guariche, Mortier and Motte met the publisher Charles Minvielle. They began designing a series of storage units for the publisher. This marked the beginning of their association called Atelier de Recherche Plastique (A.R.P.). Under the A.R.P. the three designers also joined forces with the publishers Steiner, Airborne, Cabanne and Disderot.


Scoubidou armchair edited by Steiner (circa 1955). Seat in the film “Mon Oncle” by Jacques Tati (1958 )


Sideboard edited by Minvielle (1960s), armchair edited by Steiner (1950s) and bookcase edited by Minvielle (1960s)

In 1955, the Centre Technique du Bois (Technical Wood Centre ) organised a competition with the aim of designing furniture that was practical and adaptable to small spaces. The ARP distinguished itself and received great rewards! On the strength of their success, the three designers put an end to theAtelier de Recherche Plastique in 1957 in order to devote themselves to their respective projects.


ARP won the 1st prize in the competition organised by the Centre Technique du Bois ©


1st Prize Living room : ARP (Pierre Guariche, Michel Mortier, Joseph-André Motte), edited by Minvielle et Cabanne, and Steiner chairs ©


2nd Prize Room: ARP (Pierre Guariche, Michel Mortier, Joseph-André Motte), edited by Minvielle et Cabanne, and Steinter chairs ©

Find all the pieces of the Atelier de Recherche Plastique available on Design Market