Maya Lin: “Before I began designing a single piece of this line, I did a significant amount of research and realized that the furniture with which we are familiar is derived primarily from a Western European tradition. My husband collects pre-Columbian art, and has several stone metate, ancient thrones which have slightly concave tops; he also has some porcelain pillows from China. These non-Western objects struck me as profoundly beautiful, and they became the inspiration for my designs.
“At the heart of this furniture collection for Knoll is my love for the land, which can be traced back to my childhood in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio. It goes back to a childhood fascination we all have—that moment when you discover that the earth is round…and you walk around trying to see that curve.
“In the Knoll furniture, as in everything else I create, I am trying to engage the viewer, to get their attention. It is my way of gently encouraging people to see the world in a different light… It is very important for me, as both a sculptor and designer, that the collection walks a line between art and design, that it plays the middle ground. This way of working follows the legacy of Knoll and its roots in the Bauhaus — which really did combine and cross borders.”