May 19, 2013
In its May/June 2013 “Legends at Work” issue, Surface magazine calls Knoll, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, the “iconic American company on the verge of a creative resurgence.” The piece highlights two new collections for Knoll – one by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and another by Tanzanian-born, London-based architect David Adjaye – that are being added to the company’s “illustrious portfolio.”
"Tools for Life," the new collection by Rem Koolhaas, includes 11 furniture elements designed to support the ebb and flow of work and social life, while adjusting to the different needs of both. The collection debuted in “Milan at Prada’s exhibition space during Salone del Mobile in April.”
David Adjaye has also designed a line of chairs and tables for Knoll, which will be unveiled in the company’s showrooms in October.” Adjaye said that the opportunity to work with Knoll seemed like a dream. “Knoll is, in my business, a giant,” he said.
The collaboration parallels the magnitude of the company’s 1992 collaboration with Frank Gehry, notes writer Spencer Bailey. The releases coincide with an “ambitious agenda for the company’s 75th anniversary [in which] Knoll CEO Andrew Cogan and Knoll Design Director Benjamin Pardo planned to enlist the help of several star architects to add to the company’s portfolio.
“Turning Knoll into a household name—not just for designers, architects, tradespeople, or in-the-know aficionados, but for everyone—has been the modus operandi for Cogan and Pardo as the company begins a new chapter,” writes Spencer.
A collection of seating, a side table, and a stool by the British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby was also unveiled during Salone del Mobile. Knoll has also launched a Knoll e-commerce website in addition to opening the brand’s first-ever retail space and a new showroom and offices in midtown Manhattan, all as a way to make Knoll more accessible worldwide.
Adjaye’s vision for the project and the company’s approach the new office and retail space, befits the brand’s mission: to be “Bauhaus-minded and forward-looking at the same time.” It is a sentiment “initiated by Hans and Florence Knoll more than a half century ago.”