Knoll Designer Bios

Erwin Hauer

b. Austria, 1926

Erwin Hauer has spent his life perfecting architectural screens and sculptures that celebrate the infinite continuous surface, a style known as Modular Constructivism. These light-diffusing walls and room dividers, which have adorned and enhanced modern buildings around the world since Hauer began producing them in 1950, are lauded as “quintessential works of modernism.”

Erwin Hauer Studio

Erwin Hauer Studio. Photograph by Bob O'Connor.

Hauer first crossed paths with Knoll in the 1960s, when his designs were employed in interiors designed by Florence Knoll and the Knoll Planning Unit, including the First Bank of Miami and the iconic LOOK Magazine headquarters. In 2006, a large Erwin Hauer screen was installed in the Knoll Showroom in Chicago, which showcased his work to a broader audience and helped secure Hauer's 2008 induction into the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame.

LOOK Magazine

Design 5 in the Florence Knoll-designed LOOK Magazine headquarters. Photograph © Robert Damora

Knoll Chicago

Design 201 in Knoll Showroom in Chicago.

In 2014, Spinneybeck Leather—a Knoll brand—partnered with Hauer to reinterpret his iconic designs in leather. The modular wall planks allow his work to be reimagined in a new material and extensive color range. The designs are milled from high density MDF, then vacuum formed with high-quality Spinneybeck leather. The leather hides are seamed with a decorative machine stitch at random intervals so as not to detract from the primary pattern. Learn More

Design 406 from the Erwin Hauer Studio Collection for Spinneybeck.

Design 406 from the Erwin Hauer Studio Collection for Spinneybeck