When Jacques Viénot suggested the creation of an international federation at the Congress ‘Beauté, bien-être et source de richesse’ (Beauty, well-being and source of wealth) in Paris in 1953, he became the driving force behind the Industrial Aesthetics movement in France. Before the Second World War, his career was linked to the world of decorative arts. His involvement in artistic circles and his standing as a businessman were an integral part of the international outlook which led him to create the French branch of Porza at the beginning of the thirties.
This association encouraged dialogue and understanding between nations. It was a place conducive to passionate debates in the field of the arts and intellectual thinking in the 1930s. The Second World War put a brutal end to this venture. Porza’s pacifist ideas were no longer plausible, indeed they could even have been viewed as suspicious, and this story remains a little-known episode in the cultural history of the interwar years. In the Viénot family archives, we were lucky enough to find a members’ newsletter, Nouvelles Brèves. Updated each month between 1932 and 1938, the document provides us with the names of the key members and allowed us to retrace the ideological context of Porza’s creation, as well as its ties with French artistic circles.
The research question considered in this text centres on the extent to which Porza played a seminal role in Jacques Viénot’s commitment to the creation of the industrial design movement in the 1950s.