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Designers & Books Contest

Five winners will receive three books by or about Knoll designers


In collaboration with Designers & Books, Knoll is offering up the chance to win a collection of three books written by or about iconic Knoll designers. The book collection consists of Abbott Miller: Design and Content by Abbott Miller, Fundamentals Catalogue: 14th International Architecture Exhibition by Rem Koolhaas, and Lella and Massimo Vignelli: Two Lives, One Vision by Jan Conradi. 

Fundamentals: 14<sup>th</sup> International Archtiectural Exhibition</em><span style=


You can sign up for the contest here, on Designers & Books' website. The contest will run through November 11th, 11:59pm (EST). The books were generously donated by Princeton Architectural Press, Rizzoli, and RIT. If you are not one of the five winners, you can still buy the books directly from the publishers' websites.

Abbott Miller: Design & Content </em>by Abbott Miller, 2014 published by Princeton Architectural PressAbbott Miller: Design & Content by Abbott Miller, 2014 published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Abbot Miller began his celebrated career at Pentagram, where he produced designs for books, magazines, products, interiors, and digital media that collectively bear witness to his deep-seated concern with the public life of graphic production. An interdisciplinary artist at heart, Miller’s work draws on the influence of different disciplinary practices, including music, art, dance, and calligraphy. 

In 2006 and 2011, Miller created two series of vinyl-cotton wallcoverings in collaboration with KnollTextiles. His first collection, the Grammar Collection, consisted of three typographic letter forms ("Filter," "Merge," and "Switch") rendered as abstract patterns, which provide an appropriate backdrop for rooms intended to stimulate conversation. The second series, based on Miller’s observations of ink patterns, comprises "Run," "Drip," and "Drop."

Fundamentals: 14<sup>th</sup> International Archtiectural Exhibition</em><span style=

Fundamentals: 14th International Archtiectural Exhibition by Rem Koolhaas, 2014 distributed by Rizzoli.

Along with Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas is among the most high-profile architects still active in the field today. In his seminal theoretical work, Delirious New York, Koolhaas put forth “Manhattanism” as a future model for urban planning, challenging the long-held modernist dictum that “form follows function,” coined by the Chicago architect Louis Sullivan.

Two spreads from Fundamentals 14th International Exhibition
Spreads from Fundamentals: 14th International Architectural Exhibition.

Fundamentals is the 2014 Architecture Biennale catalogue, providing an overview of the last one hundred years of architectural history as interpreted by Koolhaas. 

With a conceptual and architectural style rooted in a controversial pragmatism, Koolhaas’ theory of the “generic city” calls into question the architect’s role in transforming public life: “People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable or ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. We all complain that we are confronted by urban environments that are completely similar. We say we want to create beauty, identity, quality, singularity. And yet, maybe in truth these cities that we have are desired. Maybe their very characterlessness provides the best context for living.”

In 2013, Rem Koolhaas and his firm, OMA, created their first furniture collection Tools for Life for Knoll, which debuted at the 2013 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

Lella and Massimo Vignelli: Two Lives, One VisionLella and Massimo Vignelli: Two Lives, One Vision by Jan Conradi, 2014 published by RIT.

It’s hard to overstate Lella and Massimo Vignelli’s contributions to the design world. Responsible for introducing the now omnipresent Swiss typeface Helvetica to corporate America, Massimo and Lella created identities for American Airlines, Heller, Knoll, and Bloomingdales. Barring their contributions to typography, over the course of their careers the Vignellis have designed:

  • furniture now housed at MoMA (including the PaperClip Table & Handkerchief Chair designed for Knoll)
  • books, magazines, and brochures for Richard Meier, Architectural Record, and the U.S. National Park Service
  • domestic products for houseware companies (Heller, Junod, Sasaki, San Lorenzo and Ciga)
  • interiors for St. Peter's Church, the Hauserman showroom, and Steelcase
  • packaging for retailers Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, and Bloomingdales.

In Two Lives, One Vision, Jan Conradi reveals the creative practice and design philosophies of Lella and Massimo through a series of interviews with the two designers and a number of former clients. Drawing on archival materials, Conradi documents the Vignellis' never-ending “fight against ugliness.” The religious fervor and conviction with which Massimo approached design—he always wrote about design using a capital “D”—comes across in Conradi’s explication of the behind-the-scenes process that went into crafting the work for which he is now remembered. Massimo Vignelli died in 2014 at age 83.


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Handkerchief Chair
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PaperClip Table