In May 1917, Florence Knoll celebrated her 100th birthday and the namesake society she developed with her husband Hans since 1943, and beyond his death in 1955 did not take a wrinkle.
Orphaned at 12, she joined the Cranbrook Academy of Art directed by Eliel Saarinen where she became a kind of pupil. She sharpened her eyes and lead pencil from adolescence showing very sure intuitions in the field of architecture and design. In just fifteen years, her company will publish the 10 to 12 pieces of the most iconic contemporary furniture of the 20th century including Eero Saarinen Tulip chair or Harry Bertoia’s Diamond Chair. Also a designer, she designed remarkable pieces to expand the Knoll range such as the timeless sofa 1206 in 1954.
Through her holistic approach to design, she has evolved the discipline in a remarkable way and has, as it were, conceptualized corporate design by developing the Planning Unit within Knoll. Smart marketing, multiplication of showrooms and especially customer targeting in the high spheres of economic power, with the equipment of the sites Rockefeller, IBM or CBS, Florence Knoll remains the empress of design that will have surfed on the prosperity of the fifties and install durably the reputation of Knoll International.