Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) was a self-taught architect and designer who first apprenticed as a blacksmith and metalsmith. He grew up in Nancy, France surrounded by the ideals and energy of "l'École de Nancy," the art collective to which his father, Victor Prouvé, belonged. Its goals were to make art readily accessible, to forge links between art and industry, as well as between art and social consciousness. It would have a powerful influence on him. His designs reveal knowledge of the materials at hand, a commitment to collaboration between artists and craftsmen, and an attention to evolving technical developments. In 1947 he built the Maxéville factory where he produced furniture and undertook extensive architectural research on the uses of aluminum. Though he used sheet metal extensively, he rejected the use of steel tubing which was popular with the concurrent Bauhaus movement.