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Friday Five with Benjamin Pardo of Knoll
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Knoll remains one of the most influential forces in Modernist design, launching in 1938 and going on to fill a roster full of iconic furniture pieces, including the Wasssily Chair by Marcel Breuer (1925), Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1929), Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen (1948), Bertoia Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia (1952), and the Platner Arm Chair by Warren Platner (1966), and more recent designs, like the Washington Skeleton Chair by David Adjaye (2013) and the Newson Aluminum Chair by Marc Newson (2018). One of the key players for keeping the brand as successful as it is and at the forefront of modern design is Benjamin Pardo, their Senior Vice President and Design Director who joined Knoll in 2005 after a 17-year stint with Unifor. Pardo’s role has him working alongside today’s contemporary icons, like David Adjaye, Antenna Design, Formway Design, Marc Krusin, Piero Lissoni, Marc Newson, and Rockwell Group. He also handles all product and showroom design, including co-designing Knoll’s first ever Home Design Shop in Los Angeles earlier this year. In this Friday Five, the world traveling, design-focused Pardo shares five of his must-haves and favorite things.

1. TOPO DESIGN TRAVEL BAG
The ideal travel companion – perfectly proportioned and durable, too.

Courtesy of Benjamin Pardo

2. SMYTHSON NOTEBOOK
Forever chic, forever practical, forever helpful for capturing ideas.

Courtesy of Benjamin Pardo

3. GEORG JENSON CUFFLINKS
Timeless design at my cuff.

Courtesy of Benjamin Pardo

4. LILY NOOK
The Canadian Lilium mail order specialist that indulges my gardening passion.

5. PHIGVEL ENGINEER BOOTS
Refined and streamlined.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.