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Cranbrook Academy of Art Announces Knoll Lecture Series Speaker

Johanna Grawunder will discuss 'Concept' in the lecture on Thursday, March 12

Today, Cranbrook Academy of Art announced the 2020 speaker for the annual Knoll Lecture Series at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Each year the Knoll Lecture Series brings a renowned designer to campus for a free public lecture to promote the importance of design and build discussions with the Academy students.

Johanna Grawunder will deliver this year’s lecture, ‘CONCEPT’ at Cranbrook Art Museum on Thursday, March 12, at 6pm.

According to Grawunder, "Every project has a story. Whether a large-scale lighting installation, a unique art-design custom commission or a mass-produced product, the story we choose the tell is the driver of the design. Sometimes the story is a direct programmatic request or user-centered objective. But for my work, the main story is CONCEPT."

Trained as an architect, she was drawn to the medium of light early on and has tried to incorporate architectural principles and scale, non-precious building materials and high technology light research into her designs.

Her work is included in many museum permanent collections, including the High Museum Atlanta, LACMA, CNAP, SFMOMA, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Art Institute Chicago, Denver Art Museum and Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris.

With a degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, she studied and worked with Gianni Pettena and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia of Superstudio in Florence (1984-1985) then moved to Milan to work with Sottsass Associati (1985-2001), becoming a partner in 1989. In 2001, she opened her own design studio in San Francisco and Milan.

“The Knoll Lecture Series on Design offers Cranbrook an exceptional opportunity to engage important international thought leaders with our campus community. The impact on our students and faculty is immeasurable and extends well beyond their time at Cranbrook,” said Susan R. Ewing, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art. "We are grateful to Knoll for their generous support of this annual lecture and for our continuing partnership."

Andrew Cogan, Chairman and CEO of Knoll Inc., says, "Knoll prides itself on our continued support of design talent. The Knoll Lecture series at Cranbrook honors Florence Knoll and is inseparable from our commitment to work with the world's preeminent designers. It is our hope that by connecting emerging talent with established artists, designers, and makers - we will continue to foster their growth."

The lecture will be held in deSalle Auditorium at Cranbrook Art Museum. Free, no pre-registration required.