Posted on February 10, 2009 - by

Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll TimelineFlorence Knoll

Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, USA

The legendary designer, Eero Saarinen, took Florence Schust as his protégé, while he taught and she studied architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. From there she went on to further her studies at the London Architectural Association and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

After spending time in the employment of Wallace K. Harrison, Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius, she married Hans Knoll in 1946. The couple soon formed the distinguished furniture company, Knoll Associates. To this day Knoll International still own the rights to produce all Florence Knoll furniture pieces under license. So if it isn’t made by Knoll, it’s a copy. The Florence Knoll sofa, designed in 1954, still looks extremely “modern” today with its clean lines and trademark button detailing.

An exceptional architect and designer, Florence Knoll pioneered the Knoll Planning Unit -an approach to interiors that threw out conventional practices of the time. Her philosophy for interior space planning was in ‘total design’, which was to consider all elements while conceiving a project, i.e textiles, manufacturing, interior design, architecture, graphics and even advertising and presentation.

Florence Knoll’s groundbreaking techniques are still widely adopted in contemporary projects and in keeping with this legacy, she was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts’ prestigious National Medal of Arts in 2002.

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