Modern Luxury Interiors celebrated 80 years of innovative and modern Knoll design in its October 2018 issues. Modern Luxury Interiors publishes across eight markets: Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, South Florida, Texas, California and Scottsdale.
Editor-in-Chief Laura Eckstein Jones' feature, appropriately titled “Built to Last,” praised this year’s reimagined classics from Saarinen Side Tables in rosso rubino marble to the Wassily Chair in gold to the soon-to-be released Barcelona Relaxed Collection. Eckstein also highlighted the Bertoia Side Chair and the Washington Collection, illustrating how Knoll has reinterpreted and recast Modern design across decades. On the brand’s 80th anniversary, Eckstein commented, “the brand famous for iconic furniture collaborations with Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and more continues to stay vibrant and ahead of the pack.”
Eckstein Jones sat down with Knoll Design Director Benjamin Pardo to discuss the Knoll heritage – from the founding principles established by Hans and Florence to the contemporary designers who build upon the modern tradition. Here are some of the highlights from their conversation:
Why was Knoll considered revolutionary when it launched in the late ‘30s?
Hans and Florence Knoll and their many collaborators inaugurated a new era of integrated design based on modern principles that remain vital today. This was a new concept. Florence Knoll grew up at Cranbrook, the epicenter of the new modernist movement, which rejected frivolous ornamentation [and] favored functionality. Florence Knoll’s concept of Total Design celebrated the intersection of architecture, interior design, furniture and textiles.
How has the brand evolved over the years?
Steeped in the history of modernism, our vision is carried forward by the most talented contemporary designers, who bring beauty to this world, responding to the way we live and work. Today, David Adjaye and Marc Newson have expanded the modernist promise by leveraging new technologies and creating material innovation in textile construction, as well as metals casting and extrusions. Knoll is driven by the relationship among architecture, furniture and people.
Through the evolution, what has remained consistent? In other words, what would you say are the tenets of Knoll?
We like to say that Knoll is modern always because modern always works. Good design brings efficiency, joy and satisfaction to the home and workplace.
With so much competition, how does Knoll stay relevant?
Knoll stays relevant because modern always works. The goal of our innovation is timelessness and adaptability, rejecting short-term trends.
What can we expect next?
Knoll will continue to identify design partners that reflect the goal of our innovation – timelessness and adaptability. In the year ahead, we look forward to expanding our scope of work with Marc Newson.