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The critical and financial success of the project prompted Gray to open her own shop in 1922.

Jean Désert was located on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. The shop was named after an imaginary male owner “Jean” and Gray’s love of the North African desert. Grey designed the facade of the shop herself. Jean Désert sold the abstract geometric rugs designed by Gray and woven in Evelyn Wyld’s workshops. Clients included James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Elsa Schiaparelli.

Eileen Gray


E-1027 is a white cuboid built on rocky land on raised on pillars. According to Frances Stonor Saunders, E-1027 was formulated on Le Corbusier’s “Five Points of the New Architecture” because it is an open plan house which stands on pillars with horizontal windows, an open facade and a roof accessible by staircase. However, Gray was critical of the avant-garde movement’s focus on the exterior of buildings, writing “The interior plan should not be the incidental result of the facade; it should led to a complete harmonious, and logical life.”

Eileen Gray E-1027
Eileen Gray E-1027


According to architecture critic Rowan Moore, E-1027 “grows from furniture into a building.” By this point, Gray was fascinated by lightweight, functional, multi-purpose furniture which she called “camping style”. She created a tea trolley with a cork surface, to reduce the rattling of cups, and positioned mirrors so a visitor could see the back of their head. At the entrance of E-1027 Gray created a celluloid niche for hats with net shelves to allow a clear view without the risk of dust settling.

Designing often necessitates considering the aesthetic, functional, economic and sociopolitical dimensions of both the design object and design process. It may involve considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.


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