Design Pulse

Knoll Summer Reading

As we reach the peak of Summer, it's necessary at times to escape the beating sun and find a cool place to disconnect. Whether a romantic novel or a historical text, there is nothing quite like a picking up a book and getting lost between the lines. 

Knoll designers offer a rich body of literature – from the artistic philosophy of a storied craftsman to the celebration of a design duo’s collaborative process. Packed with both visual splendor and engaging prose, we have recapped five Summer selections to read and add to a growing bookshelf.

Barber Osgerby, Projects

Partners in design for over two decades, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have had a range of collaborations in their long tenure - including furniture designs for Knoll. A comprehensive visual catalog of their work, the book is split in three visually distinct sections and includes a collection of six essays by the designers. Barber Osgerby, Projects celebrates the collaborative process and the spirit of innovative modern design through the lens of a talented design duo.

Eero Saarinen: Furniture for the Everyman

Noted for designing iconic Modernist architecture, Eero Saarinen was equally as astute and gifted of a furniture designer as he was an architect. Saarinen often designed pieces complimentary to the projects he was working on and, as a dear friend to Florence Knoll, designed a range of trend-setting pieces for Knoll in his signature futuristic style. In his book Saarinen: Furniture for the Everyman, author Brian Lutz gives Saarinen’s exceptional furniture designs their well-deserved attention. The volume includes a forward by Florence Knoll Bassett and Niels Diffrient.

David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material

While the sheer breadth and brilliance of David Adjaye’s work speaks for itself, David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material does a worthy job of putting the extolled architect’s impressive work into words. A compliment to Haus der Kunst and the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition of the same name, the catalog discusses Adjaye’s masterful ability to create architecture that responds to sociological factors through structure and material.

The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections

In his own words, George Nakashima celebrates the beauty of nature in The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections. The gifted craftsman and artist charts his search for meaning in life, traveling across the globe from Paris to Tokyo. Eventually finding his spirituality in the beauty of wood, Nakashima relocated to New Hope, Pennsylvania. The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections is a rare and striking glimpse into the transcendent life of one of the finest modern furniture craftsman to work in the twentieth century

The Life and Work of Harry Bertoia: The Man, the Artist, the Visionary

Written by Harry Bertoia’s daughter Celia, The Life and Work of Harry Bertoia: The Man, the Artist, the Visionary provides an intimate look at the gifted artist. Celia Bertoia provides a portrait of the rich, prolific and spiritual inner life of her father through personal family memories and letters. The insightful book charts the path of Harry Bertoia’s illustrious career and the legacy he left behind, from his days of study and collaboration at the Cranbrook Academy of Art to his artful wire form collection for Knoll.

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