Modern Furniture, Lighting, and Home Accessories

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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Happy 100th Birthday to Florence Knoll

    Last week marked the 100th birthday of Florence Knoll whose signature style and pioneering spirit are at the core of everything Knoll. Her influence on the "total design" sensibility of Knoll cannot be overstated. Florence broadened the company’s existing array of furniture offerings, developed the Knoll Planning Unit, an interior design division of the company that set the standard for the mid-century modern interior, and in 1947 she launched a textile program to fill another gap she perceived in the market for furniture upholstery. This would later become KnollTextiles.

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    Florence Knoll's early life was marred by tragedy when she was orphaned at age 12. After boarding school Florence enrolled at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where she met Harry Bertoia, who would also collaborate with Knoll on modern furniture designs. During her formative years studying architecture in Chicago, Florence met many of the leading architects of the time, including Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe.

    In 1941 she met Hans Knoll who was the third generation of a Stuttgart-based furniture manufacturing family, who sought to bring European Modernism to a new audience in the United States. They married in 1946 and renamed the company Knoll Associates.

     

    With a spare, geometric profile—an expression of the rational design approach Florence Knoll learned from her mentor, Mies van der Rohe—the sofa is utterly modern and totally timeless. Compared to the standard Florence Knoll Lounge Collection, the relaxed edition offers a softer version, with deeper proportions for a more relaxed sit. Consistent with all of Knoll’s designs, it has a spare, angular profile that reflects the objective perfectionism of modern design in the early 1960s. With a spare, geometric profile—an expression of the rational design approach Florence Knoll learned from her mentor, Mies van der Rohe—the Relaxed Lounge Sofa is utterly modern and totally timeless. Compared to the standard Florence Knoll Lounge Collection, the Relaxed Edition offers a softer version, with deeper proportions for a more relaxed sit.

     

    In 1945 Florence Knoll started The Planning Unit, an interior design division of the furniture company that set the standard for the mid-century modern interior. Florence Knoll’s meticulous methods of assessing a client’s needs were clear in her sketches, annotations, and especially the "paste-up" cardboard models she used to demonstrate envisioned spaces.

    Finding the marketing lacking, Florence Knoll also designed individual pieces of furniture. "I needed a piece of furniture, it was not there, so I designed it." - Florence Knoll.

    The Florence Knoll Executive Desk exudes executive quality and epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Each detail was endlessly refined to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty. The Florence Knoll Executive Desk exudes executive quality and epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s impact on Florence’s approach to design. Each detail was endlessly refined to achieve simple, seemingly effortless beauty. Available in six table top finishes.

    Florence Knoll's Credenza Collection Perfectly proportioned and immaculately detailed, the iconic Florence Knoll low credenza works as well in the dining room as it does in the office. Florence Knoll's Credenza Collection is perfectly proportioned and immaculately detailed. The iconic Florence Knoll Credenza works as well in the dining room as it does in the office.

     

    In 1947, Florence Knoll  launched a textile program to fill another gap she perceived in the market for furniture upholstery. This would later become KnollTextiles. "It became apparent to me that suitable textiles were not available for our furniture and interiors," she wrote.

    Florence's use of small fabric swatches—the simple but effective practice of stapling fabric samples to pieces of cardboard—in client presentations led her to develop a tagged sample and display system that eventually became an industry standard. Florence's use of small fabric swatches—the simple but effective practice of stapling fabric samples to pieces of cardboard—in client presentations led her to develop a tagged sample and display system that eventually became an industry standard.

     

    In the early 1950s, under Florence Knoll's stewardship, the company developed a distinctive graphic identity, collaborating with Swiss photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter to design everything from advertisements and stationery to the company’s distinctive logo.

    But in 1955, her life was struck by a second tragedy when Hans Knoll was killed in an automobile accident and she suddenly found herself as Knoll’s sole owner. In 1957 she married again and continued in her capacity as Knoll's president and later as its director of design, but eventually sold the company to Art Metal Construction Company in 1959. Even after her departure from Knoll, the company continued to be inspired by her synthetic view of design and rigorous standards.

    To celebrate a century of Florence Knoll and her inspired brand of modernism, Knoll expanded the Florence Knoll Collection with the addition of new and archival products.

    Revived from the Knoll product archive 70 years after its initial introduction, Florence Knoll’s Model 75 Stool is now available as the Hairpin™ Stacking Table. The early design was based on Shu's wire studies done while she was a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which were eventually translated to the immensely popular design for Knoll. Revived from the Knoll product archive 70 years after its initial introduction, Florence Knoll’s Model 75 Stool is now available as the Knoll Hairpin Stacking Table. The early design was based on her wire studies done while a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which were eventually translated into the immensely popular design for Knoll.

    The discipline of her practice and the inspired arrow of her ideas were lifelong attributes. In 2002, Florence Knoll Bassett was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor for achievement in the field presented annually by the President of the United States. In 2002, Florence Knoll Bassett was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor for achievement in the field presented annually by the President of the United States.

     

    In the lasting acclaim for the planning projects she spearheaded and the pieces of furniture she quietly designed, Florence Knoll has continually proven her own mantra—that "good design is good business."

    Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation - always buy original and authentic designs.

    Customers in the USA can purchase many of GRShop's products at ModernPlanet.com and receive the same great customer service and free shipping.

  • Artemide Outdoor Lighting 15% off - May 31st

    Artemide is a worldwide leader in lighting design, with an unparalleled commitment to technological innovation, research and human interaction. Established in Italy in 1959 by Ernesto Gismondi and Sergio Mazza, the company specializes in the manufacture of lighting designed by top industrial designers and architects and has created award-winning collaborations with some of the world’s most talented designers including Naoto Fukasawa, David Chipperfield, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Karim Rashid and Herzog & De Meuron.

    The Artemide XXL Floor Lamp was designed by Michele De Lucchi in 1987. It earning worldwide recognition for its perfect marriage of design and engineering. The Artemide XXL Floor Lamp was designed by Michele De Lucchi in 1987. It earned worldwide recognition for its perfect marriage of design and engineering. Tolomeo XXL’s towering size gives the fixture a majestically powerful presence, becoming a statement piece when its grand iconic features are made part of any outdoor environment.

    Committed to the philosophy of “The Human Light,”  the awards won by Artemide’s designs and designers are, to name a few, Best of the Best by Red Dot Design, iF Design Award by World Design Guide and Wallpaper Magazine Design Award.

    The Artemide Tolomeo Mega Outdoor Collection includes a suspension lamp, a hook lamp and a floor lamp, all part of the very successful Tolomeo family of lighting. The Artemide Tolomeo Mega Outdoor Collection includes a suspension lamp, a hook lamp and a floor lamp, all part of the very successful Tolomeo family of lighting. Tolomeo Mega's large size diffuser (diameter: 50 cm) adjusts to the visual proportions of broad, open spaces. The diffuser is coated with a durable and washable plastic material that looks like natural jute.

    An early proponent of LED technology, Artemide is committed to eco-sustainability through design and production, seeking to minimize energy consumption and waste through a product’s life cycle.

    The Artemide Tetragono lights The father of Artemide, Ernesto Gismondi propelled his involvement in the Memphis Design movement into profoundly revolutionizing the field of lighting design in both Italy and the world. The Artemide Tetragono Lights were designed by the father of Artemide, Ernesto Gismondi, who propelled his involvement in the Memphis Design movement into profoundly revolutionizing the field of lighting design. Tetragono’s body, crafted of extruded aluminum and painted steel, complements any exterior with its modern, sleek, and geometric look. Available in floor and wall models.

    German-born designer Klaus Begasse runs a multi-disciplinary practice in Stuttgart. His organic-inspired Reeds are a modular, flexible outdoor Designed by German-born Klaus Begasse, and inspired by nature, Reeds is a modular, flexible outdoor lamp that is available as a single unit or a triple unit. Its light creates a spectacle of soft, bright light with decorative appeal.

    Artemide's Outdoor Lighting has a large selection of wall scones and floor lighting. Many of which offer discreet lighting for your exterior spaces.

    artemide-obice-wall-6 The Artemide Obice is a small, discreet outdoor light that offers you security in your outdoor spaces. Available in two finishes, black and white, and in two degrees of light beam width.

    Check out all the Artemide Outdoor Lighting that is 15% off until May 31st at GRShop.com.

    Support creativity and help protect the history of design and the future of innovation - always buy original and authentic designs.

    Customers in the USA can purchase many of GRShop's products at ModernPlanet.com and receive the same great customer service and free shipping.

     

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