Knoll: A Modernist Universe

Rizzoli sent me a copy of Knoll: A Modernist Universe by Brian Lutz (foreword by Reed Kroloff) in the mail. It is enormous and quite beautiful. I’d been anticipating getting a copy for a few months now and was psyched when it arrived with a loud thud on my doorstep. What a great coffee table book. Sorry for my horrible photos, but the lighting and my camera were not cooperating with me today.

From the press release:

The history of Knoll is the history of modern design. Founded in 1938 by Hans Knoll and joined by his wife, Florence Knoll, the company is credited for bringing European modern design to America, then nurturing the best homegrown talents at mid-century to build the most successful and prestigious high-end furniture company in the world. Knoll: A Modernist Universe (Rizzoli New York; ISBN: 978-0-8478-3186-9; $75.00 US; May 2010) is the authoritative history of this iconic design company.

Throughout its history Knoll has been at the forefront of cutting-edge and chic design. Knoll’s production of Mies van der Rohe’s and Marcel Breuer’s tubular furniture for a receptive domestic market made Bauhaus ideals a reality for an American audience. Knoll leveraged America’s newfound wealth and cultural status after World War II by commissioning now-iconic furniture pieces, such as Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chair and Harry Bertoia’s Wire chairs and, more recently, producing instant classics from architects Frank Gehry and Richard Meier.

Equally significant is Knoll’s pioneering foray into office planning, which resulted in Florence Knoll’s iconic furniture and later one of the first office systems. Seventy years later, Knoll continues to be a leader in transforming the American workplace. Not surprisingly, excellent graphic design has long been a Knoll trademark with advertising and photography by such masters as Herbert Matter and Massimo Vignelli. Comprehensive in narrative and scope, this monograph will be a classic in its own right with images and texts on furniture, furnishings, systems, graphics, and unique insight into the modern world that is Knoll.

If you’d like to get your hands on one, it will be available toward the end of this month.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.