The exhibition – Pierre Paulin Program: Des idées courbes, Des formes libres – is on show at the Château La Coste estate near Aix-en-Provence.
It sees some of Paulin's most celebrated designs, including the shell-like Alpha Club Chair and the distinctively folded Déclive chaise longue, used to furnish the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium.
The staging creates a dialogue between the work of these two influential 20th-century figures.
"While Paulin and Niemeyer worked in different fields of design, it is evident through this exhibition that they both shared a deep appreciation for the expressive potential of curves," said the project team.
"Their creative outputs have had a significant impact on the world of design and architecture and, whether in furniture or buildings, their use of flowing, sculptural forms has brought life and energy to the spaces and objects they inhabit."
Developed with curator Lyna Ahanda, the exhibition centres around the Pierre Paulin Program, a concept for a residential furniture system that was developed by Paulin between 1969 and 1972 but was unrealised in his lifetime.
The system is based on the idea of dividing spaces using large-scale furniture pieces rather than wall partitions so that they can be easily reconfigured to suit occupant needs.
The key piece is Ensemble Dune, a sofa formed of upholstered modules made from foam, resin and fibreglass.
These are arranged in a large grid to create a kind of furniture landscape.
The design was originally envisioned for Herman Miller but never went into production.
In an interview shortly before his death in 2009, Paulin described it as his biggest professional regret. He believed this approach might replace traditional types of furniture.
The concept was finally made a reality in 2020 thanks to Paulin, Paulin, Paulin, a company set up by the designer's wife and business partner Maia Paulin, son Benjamin Paulin and daughter-in-law Alice Lemoine.
The work was first presented in Maison à Bordeaux – a seminal OMA-designed house commissioned by Lemoine's late father Jean-François Lemoine, where her mother Hélène still lives today.
But with the new exhibition, the designs are being opened up to a much wider audience.
Château La Coste has become a major tourist destination due to its impressive collection of art and architecture, which includes the Richard Rogers Drawing Gallery, Frank Gehry's 2008 Serpentine Pavilion and sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and Yoko Ono.
Other key pieces in the show include the Module shelving walls, the curved C sofas and chairs, and the Tapis-Siège seating.
At a time when the boundaries between home and workspace are increasingly blurring, the designs suggest how furniture might become more flexible and multi-functional.
"The production is based on the limitless potential of a dual layout based on a perfect grid configuration, where horizontal and vertical elements can be used as floors, seated elements and storage partitions, offering endless combinations of living spaces," said the project team.
Pierre Paulin Program: Des idées courbes, Des formes libres opened at Château La Coste on 29 May 2023 and continues until September. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.