...Florence Knoll - Architect In addition to nurturing her educationally the Saarinens also took Florence Schust under their wing, making her in all but title part of their family, and taking her with them on their annual summer holiday to Europe... The first projects the Knoll Planning Unit undertook were the company's own offices and showrooms, spaces which not only allowed the company to introduce its furniture but which allowed Florence Knoll to introduce her thinking on space and the relationships between furniture and user...
One of the most underrated women in the history of modern design is without question the American designer and entrepreneur Florence Knoll. After her parents' early death she became close to the architect Eliel Saarinen and his wife. The Saarinen's encouraged her obvious talent and took her to Europe where she met the likes of Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier. Following completion of her studies at the Cranbrook Academy, Michigan, and London Florence Knoll began working in Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer's New York architectural office. In New York she met the German immigrant Hans Knoll. The pair married in 1946, and began establishing their fledgling furniture company Knoll associates: Florence Knoll being responsible for all the design decisions including signing up such talents as, and amongst others, Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Harry Bertoia. After the early death of her husband, Florence Knoll took over the management of the company and guided it to its current position as one of the most important furniture manufacturers.
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...Knoll and became the Knoll International "in-house interior designer"; and it was Florence Knoll who approached Saarinen to ask him to develop his moulded chair concept for the company...
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