Florence Knoll Bassett



Born in Saginaw, Michigan (US), on 24 May 1917, Florence Knoll Bassett – maiden name Schust – died on 25 January 2019 at the patriarchal age of 101 years. Her long career, with designs ranging from objects to corporate projects, cannot be explained without the plethora of influences experienced during her education. She studied with Eliel Saarinen at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and went on to Columbia University in New York, coinciding with Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. Later, after two years at the Architectural Association in London, Knoll worked for Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, before graduating as an architect in Illinois, already with Mies van der Rohe as her mentor. Together with her husband, with whom she shared studio, Knoll received commissions from large corporate companies like the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company or CBS, designing sophisticated interiors characterized by clarity and organic rationalism, asserting at all times the role of women as designers and the importance of interior design, field in which she was a pioneer and which she always tried to separate from mere ‘decoration.’ 

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