Knoll International

Sofa (1954), Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll Bassett (born May 24, 1917) is an American architect and furniture designer who studied under Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen at Cranbrook Academy of Art. After graduating in 1941, she moved to New York where she met Hans Knoll, who was establishing a new furniture company. With Florence’s design skills and Hans’ business acumen and salesmanship, the pair, who married in 1946, grew the company into an international arbiter of style and design.

Florence Knoll designed with the notion of transforming architecture into furniture and revolutionized interior space planning with her belief in ‘total design’. She stated that she was not a furniture designer, because she didn’t want her furniture pieces to be viewed on their own, but rather as an element of her holistic interior design. The distinctive features of Florence Knoll’s furniture designs were the sleek silhouettes and geometries, and she mostly kept the upholstery in black, brown and beige to let the vibrant colours and rich textures in the interior spaces remain the focus.

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© Knoll International S.P.A., Milan, Italy

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