Marc Held

Marc Held was born in Paris in 1932. In 1960, after an eventful training period, he set up his own industrial design bureau in Paris and has since worked for an international clientele. His designs of everyday objects received extensive media coverage from the start: furniture for the Prisunic chain as well as for Knoll International, watches, cars and other items. He showed in major exhibitions such as the Milan Triennale and Eurodomus, and his works can be seen in several museums.

From 1974, his career as an independent architect really took off, although he did not abandon product design. Basing his practice on a rigorous methodology and total commitment, he refused to produce more than he was able to supervise personally.

He designed some remarkable works, chiefly private homes, initially modest in size, but widely acclaimed by the international press. He went on to design a number of much larger buildings that put into practice key principles of his architectural philosophy: employing local resources both in terms of labour and materials, and allowing for the geographical, climatic and cultural parameters of the locality.

Obsessively concerned about the wider environment as well as with detail, interested in technological developments but passionately devoted to vernacular architecture and crafts, Marc Held has gradually built up a body of work that far exceeds the scope of passing fashion. The variety of his designs, ranging from a spoon to a factory, their very personal character and technical perfection, place him among the ranks of the great masters.

Over the last few years, Marc Held, has devoted himself to research and writing. His first book, Letters Gerry (Ed. de l' Equerre, 1986), marked the debut of this new creative period. Forthcoming publication: A study of the plan types and architectural details of the traditional houses of Skopelos.

Marc Held's work Skopelos: The landscapes and vernacular architecture of an Aegean Island was published in English, Greek and French.