Like so many early Knoll employees, Don Albinson studied design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he met and worked under Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. He was instrumental in helping Eames and Saarinen fabricate their award-winning collection of chairs for the 1940 Organic Home Furnishings Competition. When Eames moved to California, Albinson joined him to help develop methods of molding fiberglass shells. Albinson was always known as “a tool guy” — a mechanical genius and a brilliant problem solver.
It was these qualities that would lead Knoll to seek out Albinson. In the mid 1960s Knoll was developing three highly innovative products — the Petitt Chair, the Pollock Chair and the Platner Collection — and needed someone of Albinson’s caliber to bring these technically challenging designs to market. Albinson was brought on to direct the Design/Development group at Knoll, a title he held from 1964-1971. Shortly after his arrival, Albinson introduced his own design, an ingenious molded plastic stacking chair.
After leaving Knoll, Albinson consulted on the design of office seating and furniture systems for Westinghouse and taught industrial design at the University of California, Los Angeles.