East Greenville, Pa., October 24, 2018 -- Knoll, Inc., a constellation of design driven brands for the workplace and home, is pleased to announce its collaboration with Endicott College on Eight Decades of Design, a gallery exhibition celebrating the brand's 80th anniversary. Eight Decades of Design takes a close look at Florence Knoll, a female pioneer of design who rose to be a driving influence on American modernism, and the designers who shaped Knoll's legacy. The exhibit embodies the mission of Endicott's art school: to instill in its students historical and aesthetic awareness, perceptual and conceptual abilities, and technical skills.
From the classics to the contemporary greats, designers have upheld the core principles of Modern design, as seen here from Florence Knoll's Lounge Chair (far left) to Antenna Design's Toboggan Chair Desk (far right).
Eight Decades of Design highlights some of the brand's most impactful collaborations with leading architects and designers such as David Adjaye, Marc Krusin, Formway Design, Harry Bertoia, Annie Albers, Eero Saarinen and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Each designer's portrait has been paired with his or her respective work, showing the evolution of Modern design. Together these collaborations form the innovative history and spirit of Knoll.
The rear wall of the gallery space showcases Knoll advertisements by Herbert Matter and Massimo Vignelli. A Rockwell Unscripted drink rail provides a place to take in the graphic masterpieces.
The exhibition also functions as a visual and physical timeline, showing archival Knoll furniture and textiles, the evolution of the Knoll Planning Unit with prototype models, and a short video on the Knoll heritage. Swaths of fabric from KnollTextiles span the height of the wall, while a series of Knoll advertisements by Herbert Matter and Massimo Vignelli speak to the brand's distinguished graphic history. Lastly, Eight Decades of Design casts a particular spotlight on the Knoll Planning Unit, describing its origin and demonstrating how new technologies and workplace research have informed today's approach to planning.
Florence Knoll introduced a radical new way of workplace planning with the Planning Unit. Today, new technologies and increased workplace research further sharpen the skills that Florence introduced eighty years ago.
Director of Interior Architecture Programs, Van Loan School, Myoung Joo Chun, noted that creating an exhibition that brings Knoll’s history to life for students to experience is a natural fit: “Knoll is a leader in the furniture space and has the history, collaboration, and great designers to help tell the brand’s story.” Chun says that the exhibit is not just applicable to interior design students, but that it’s overarching to the entire School of Visual and Performing Arts. “Photography students can learn from the portraits of great designers, graphic design students can learn from the historical posters, art students can learn from the sketches of the furniture design process. This exhibit will ideally help students find their own inspiration that they can bring to the classroom.”
With the Planning Unit, Florence Knoll forever changed the post-war American corporate landscape, creating some of the most inspired Modern interiors that are continuously referenced when planning today.
From the market gaps she aimed to fill to the prestigious designers she had on call, Florence Knoll greatly expanded the company, changing the post-war corporate landscape of the 20th century. As the brand celebrates its 80th anniversary, discover Knoll through the designers who shaped its legacy and the innovations that persist today.
A presentation, “Florence Knoll: Defining Modern” with Senior Vice President, Communications at Knoll, David Bright, will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. in the Rose Performance Hall with a reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public. Eight Decades of Design at Knoll is on display in the Heftler Visiting Artist Gallery at the Walter J. Manninen Center for the Arts until February 6, 2019.
Knoll, Inc. is a constellation of design-driven brands and people, working together with our clients to create inspired modern interiors. Our internationally recognized portfolio includes furniture, textiles, leathers, accessories, and architectural and acoustical elements. Our brands — Knoll Office, KnollStudio, KnollTextiles, KnollExtra, Spinneybeck | FilzFelt, Edelman Leather, HOLLY HUNT, DatesWeiser, and Muuto — reflect our commitment to modern design that meets the diverse requirements of high performance workplaces and luxury interiors. A recipient of the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement from the Smithsonian`s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Knoll, Inc. is aligned with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Canadian Green Building Council and can help organizations achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) workplace certification. Our products can also help clients comply with the International Living Future Institute to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification, and with the International WELL Building Institute to attain WELL Building Certification. Knoll, Inc. is the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program.
David E. Bright