THE 5 GREAT FURNITURE DESIGNERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Design is a fundamental part of our lives. Without design, many spaces would not be as attractive and unique. The last century left us a great selection of designers who are still creating trends in homes. Among the most prominent we can talk about:
Florence and Hans Knoll:
Florence Schust was a pioneer in her time. From a very young age, she managed to stand out in arts and architecture. With recommendations from Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto, she was a student of the greatest architects of the 20th century, among them Mies Van der Rohe. All of them would become her future companions and great friends.
In 1941 she met Hans Knoll, setting up his own furniture company. From then on, Florence became part of the Knoll company, where she developed all her designs. She married Hans in 1945; they would make the Knoll brand a benchmark.
Florence would transform post-war American homes and reach the pinnacle of design by collaborating with major companies such as IBM. Florence Knoll did not simply decorate; she was concerned with finding and creating spaces based on the needs of each client. She carried out exhaustive analyses of the companies, their usage trends, their needs
In 1955 Hans Knoll died in a car accident, and Florence Knoll took over the company until 1960 when he retired.
Verner was born in Denmark in 1926. He collaborated in the studio of Arne Jacobsen, another of the great designers of the last century known for the Series 7 chair and the Arne Jacobsen lamp.
One of his most emblematic designs was the Panton chair Vitra presented in 1967. Other designs include The Cone Chair and the globe lamp.
Verner was famous and a pioneer in the post-war period for his innovative materials in furniture such as plastic, foam, and acrylic. He also stood out for his use of bright colors and organic shapes. Like Florecen Knoll, he developed projects for large companies such as Bayer, which were already concerned about creating more pleasant environments for their employees' work.
Charles and Ray Eames
Another pair of aces. They developed their careers separately until 1941, when they married and began their fruitful career. They started with plywood leg stretchers and splints. Their first product was the Herman Miller Company. Notable products included the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, Eames Molded Plywood Chairs and Eames Molded Plastic Chairs.
In 1949 they launched a project to create modern and economically sustainable housing; they designed two houses, one of them would be the Eames House. It was their opera prima, where they managed to capture all its essence and all its furniture, with very innovative ideas for the time. They developed their facet as designers and began a career as photographers and film producers.
I could not make this entry without including one of our designers: Miguel Milá was one of the great industrial designers of the 50s, National Design Award in 1987. Characterized by using noble materials such as wood in his projects, he was a Spanish-design precursor. Among his most outstanding works are the basket lamp, the TMM lamp, and a characteristic element of our cities, the neo-romantic bench.
Alvar and Elissa Aalto
Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto was born in Helsinki in 1898. He was an architect recognized at the height of the greats like Le Corbusier or Mies Van de Rohe. He was part of the Bauhaus, establishing contact with several artists, including Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (don't miss his story in my next blog post).
In 1928 he joined the CIAM, the most important congresses of modern architecture. His new tendency towards a more humanizing architecture was translated into architecture and more organic designs. This is why he investigated laminated wood and its curvature to create pieces such as the Paimio chair, about the place for which it was designed, a sanatorium in Finland where patients needed to spend many hours sitting. This is why the design of the element took so much importance. It was necessary to have a warm component with a shape adapted to the body to allow them a comfortable stay.
Between 1946 and 1948, Aalto traveled to the United States, and there he met Frank Lloyd Wright, very popular for his organicist works. A few years later, his first wife, Aino Marsio, died, also an architect and collaborator in all his projects. In 1952 he married Elissa Makiniemi, whom he met when she came to work in his studio, and became the director of his projects after Alvar's death in 1976.
There are many other designers that we cannot forget because their contributions to the history of design have been just as relevant. Among them, we can highlight Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and among the most current Philippe Starck and Zaha Hadid.
Indeed, you have a spectacular project that you want to publish; you want all the elements to stand out, among them classic design pieces that give that particular character space.