I’ve started to wonder a little bit about the Knoll company after I realized I can not spell, nor pronounce, Eero Saarinen’s name. After a little research (wiki and Knolls website -WOKA, WOKA!!) I found I didn’t know anything about this dynamic company. Pictured above is Hans Knoll and his wife Florence. Hans started his furniture company under his name in 1938. Whilst this was happening, his future wife Florence was busy studying at Kingsfield, Cranbrook, and the Armour Institute where she received a degree in Architecture. She was a protegee of Eero Saarinen, and worked with big timer Bauhaus gents like Walter Gropius, Marcel Breur, and Wallace K. Harrison.
In an effort to bring in business during the war, Florence proposed to Hans that they work with architects by doing interior design. It was successful and the two married in 1946 and became full partners in the business. In 1955 Hans Knoll died in a car accident leaving Florence the President of the company until 1960. She remained the director of design until 1965. Florence contributed tons to the company by bringing in designers and big name clients. She also designed furniture for the company, helped with many of their textiles, and designed a lot of interiors and showrooms for Knoll.
Florence Knoll is most noted for some of the interiors she worked on when she ran the Knoll Planning Unit.
Photos taken from Burning Settler’s cabin
In 2002 Florence was awarded the National Medal of arts – CUZ SHE HELLA EARNED IT.
If you would like to know more about Florence and the Knoll Planning unit check out the decorative arts trust link provided above and Knoll’s website.