Skip to main content directly

Knoll Designer Bios

Nob and Non Utsumi

Nob Utsumi (b. Japan, 1945)
Non Utsumi (b. Japan, c. 1950)

Nob and Non Utsumi came to the United States on their honeymoon in 1970 and never left. After their unintended move, the artist couple began to design textiles for Belle Fabrics, building a reputation for their serene, sophisticated design sense. Working most often in neutral colors, Nob and Non’s work has often been described as exotic and refreshing.

Collection 1, introduced by Knoll in 1979, is comprised of seven print patterns that are governed by the "less is more" concept. The idea behind the subtle, aesthetically quiet collection was to enhance, not distract from, the architectural space around it. Hand drawn lines were painted on top of machine made stripes to soften the industrial repetition found in many textiles.