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Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll

Who would have known that even in the midst of war, interior and furniture design's shine will reap right through? That indeed was possible. Enter Florence Knoll Bassett, an American furniture designer, and architect – popularly known as Florence Knoll, or Shu, as her friends called her. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Shu graduated from Kingswood School. Thereafter, she went on to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, also located in Michigan. After gaining her Bachelor's Degree in Architecture in the Armour Institute of Technology, now know as Illinois Institute of Technology, in 1941, Shu had a short stint in working alongside greats, such as Walter Gropius, Wallace Harrison, and the Bauhaus movement.

In 1943, Shu succeeded in convincing her business partner, Hans Knoll, in expanding his furniture business that was based in New York. Shu was able to successfully bring in new business in Han's furniture company by inserting interior design. They partnered with credible architects in the city. The business grew immensely. In 1946, Shu and Hans married. The couple founded the Knoll Associates. To date, the associates' furniture factory can be found in Pennsylvania. Dealers were then carefully selected and added into the Knoll's business empire.

In 1953, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, a mentor and a close friend of Shu, gave her full rights of production to the Barcelona chair. Not only that, Mies also gave her rights to the Stool chair. These automatically gave Knoll her signature pieces, and have since built these chairs to the exact detail and precision, and have maintain its standard ever since.

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