Cranbrook Academy of Art, where Knoll co-founder Florence Knoll studied, has awarded Aleksandra Pollner and Hannah Vaughan the 2016 Florence Knoll Scholarship in Design and the Kass Bradley Scholarship in Design, respectively.
Florence Knoll Scholarship in Design. Established in 2004 by Knoll, Inc., the Florence Knoll Scholarship in Design is awarded yearly to a graduate student with the aim of supporting the creation of art and design at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
This year's recipient of the Florence Knoll Scholarship, Aleksandra Pollner, is a second-year student in the 3D Design Department. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she received a B.A. in Psychology and Literature from the University of Washington in 2004.
Pollner works in concrete, wood, porcelain, metal and stone. "I love it all, but the purpose is always to discover and to disclose the material's essence," she says. Pollner's designs ask the existential questions we ask of ourselves within an architectural space: How do objects influence us just as how does architecture influence us?
After graduation, Pollner plans to build a cabanon in the desert of Eastern Washington in collaboration with an architect and to continue to design.
Kass Bradley Scholarship in Design. In honor of Kass Bradley, former Knoll President and COO, the Kass Bradley Scholarship is awarded annually by the Cranbrook faculty to a student who is pursuing museum studies, a curatorial project or research related to connoisseurship in association with the Cranbrook Museum of Art.
This year's recipient of the Kass Bradley Scholarship, Hannah Vaughan, is a second-year student in the 3D Design Department. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College in 2009. Vaughan also attended Penland School of Craft in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Vaughan works in metal and wood, employing both chainsaw carving and fine woodworking. "I want to make furniture pieces into poetic symbols of craft, sculpture and humanity's need to build and destroy," she writes of her work, which explores the overlap between minimalist form and "primitive gestures."
In addition to Florence Knoll, Cranbrook alumni include Knoll designers Harry Bertoia, Ralph Rapson and Eero Saarinen, whose father, Eliel Saarinen, directed the school's architecture program, as well as Masamichi Udagawa of Antenna Design.