Knoll Debuts Refreshed Design Direction at MillerKnoll Design Days 2023
Knoll will present its refreshed design direction in Chicago at MillerKnoll Design Days from June 12–14. The flagship Knoll showroom at 811 W. Fulton Market will feature a complete re-design, re-introductions of archival designs by Florence Knoll and Eero Saarinen, and new designs by Antenna Design and Dan Grabowski.
Debuting a re-mastering of the brand under new creative leadership
In his first year, Jonathan Olivares, Senior Vice President of Design for Knoll has delivered a new interpretation of color, material, and finish. The rejuvenated palette is expressed across several new settings informed by insights and observations for the contemporary workplace.
By envisioning products that are open for interpretation in how they are planned and specified, Knoll aims to capture the optimism and spirit of our time.
As Olivares notes, “Knoll furnishings are not complete until a designer considers their relationship to an interior, and chooses their color, material, finish, and in many cases their configuration.”
Knoll examines the needs of the contemporary workplace and introduces new settings for emerging planning paradigms
“Organizations have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine their spaces for a new balance of in-person, virtual and distributed work activities happening today.” Enrico Colzani, Knoll Brand President and SVP, MillerKnoll Global Contract Marketing notes. “They are looking for a hospitality-oriented environment that revolves around colleagues, community, conviviality, and sets the stage for company culture.” The Knoll showroom replicates the experience of moving through an office—from open and social gathering spaces to more focused and task-oriented collaborations, and finally, to areas of head-down work, privacy, and refuge.
The Fulton Market Space will showcase other brands from the MillerKnoll collective, including Spinneybeck and FilzFelt architectural and acoustic materials, and Knoll Textiles fabrics and drapery.
Creative collaborations enhance the showroom design
Knoll is built on a legacy of creative collaboration—an ongoing dialogue with contemporary architects and designers that has yielded a timeless collection of pioneering products for high-performance workplaces, work-from-home settings, and luxury residential interiors. This year’s exhibition features several new partnerships.
Salem Van der SwaaghThe colors, materials and finishes shown across the redesigned Fulton Market showroom are the result of a new collaboration with Salem van der Swaagh. Van der Swaagh is an American designer who previously did color and materials work with Hella Jongerious in Berlin and has worked independently with Knoll Textiles. She will continue to be an important part of the brand’s story with her latest undertaking: editing the colors and materials of the Knoll portfolio globally.
Van der Swaagh’s study of the Knoll CMF palette explores a vibrant and nuanced offering that treats color as material. Monochromatic families—masterful curations of Knoll Textiles fabrics, veneers, paints, laminates, leathers, stones, and metals—are laid out as palettes for the specifier to interpret.
Says Olivares, “It is a materials library rich enough to be interpreted in as many ways as there are designers.”
Jonathan MueckeIn the spirit of the Harry Bertoia works commissioned by Florence Knoll for her early Knoll showrooms, the showroom will feature artworks by Jonathan Muecke—a graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he was the Florence Knoll scholar. Jonathan Olivares says, “Jonathan Muecke occupies a unique position within conceptual design. Through shape, construction and materiality, his practice engages our senses and perception of space. His works occupy a scale of their own within interiors and exist in dialogue with architecture and design.”
Muecke’s two- and three-dimensional works introduce shape and texture at a scale that invigorates Knoll spaces for the present day. The works on display, including PS (Painted Shape) and FS (Flat Shape), are the first of many commissioned from Muecke for future Knoll showrooms.
KnollTextiles at Knoll
Knoll Textiles holds the far corner of the floor with a textiles workshop designed to prioritize a neutral and inviting vantage for textiles. The semi-private studio takes advantage of generous natural lighting and a central table that functions as a workspace and display area for recent and upcoming introductions by the design studio. Highlights include select textile development processes alongside The Nick Cave Collection, including a preview of a new color of the woven upholstery Doily. 2023 introductions and an upcoming wallcovering collection are also featured within the space.
Floor-to-ceiling lengths of textiles in both red and neutral groupings span both recent launches to classic upholsteries dating back to 1961, highlighting the studio’s enduring design commitments.
Mary Murphy, SVP of Design for Knoll Textiles says “Florence Knoll founded Knoll Textiles in 1947 with the belief that textiles could be as compelling and contemporary as Knoll furniture. Her first inspiration was menswear—suiting textiles she adapted for furniture to introduce the first commercial upholsteries. It’s this same potential to develop textiles in meaningful dialogue with their surroundings that excites us today.”
What’s new at Knoll Design Days 2023
Archival Reissues of Model 31 and 33 by Florence Knoll
Originally designed and released by Florence Knoll in 1954, Models 31 and 33—a lounge chair and small sofa respectively—were designed to quietly, yet confidently reflect the character of a place and the people within it.
In today’s world where connection is key, this reintroduced duo provides a meaningful—and impeccably designed—place for people to socialize within the context of their organization’s purpose and day-to-day activities. Their smart, simple form easily adapts to a wide range of textiles and expressions.
Reissued Saarinen Lounge Height Tables
Knoll is reissuing the archival 26-inch height table in a 36-inch diameter serving the contemporary need for flexible work. The new Saarinen table height is an ideal partner for a sofa or lounge chair, allowing work on laptops and tablets at lounge height and for conversations at a more intimate scale.
Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Womb Chair
For the 75th anniversary of the Womb Chair, Knoll is celebrating this instantly recognizable cultural icon. Designed by Eero Saarinen at the behest of Florence Knoll in 1948, the Womb Chair defied the era’s conventions of what a chair could be, both in the techniques and technology that allowed for its form, and ultimately, in its nonprescriptive function. The ideas behind its initial design intent—to answer our primal need for unbound comfort—continue to resonate across generations.
Cove Collection by Knoll
Designed by Dan Grabowski, the new elevated wood collection is a thoughtful, minimalist take on the modern private office. Cove has a refreshing lightness of scale and proportion for effortless planning and features honest materials that are the hallmarks of modernism—wood, glass, and polished metal—bringing the warmth of nature to the office.
New Antenna Bench
An extension of the Antenna family, the Antenna Bench uses Antenna’s original post and beam system to support an upholstered, tufted surface that provides a temporary place to rest or meet in an open-plan hospitality environment. The modular bench is available with power, is a vehicle for Knoll Textiles fabrics, and offers a variety of colors and finishes on the legs.
About KnollFounded in 1938, Knoll is a globally recognized leader in modern design and the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program. Knoll uses modern design to create places people love to be, and over the last 85 years, its commitment to modern design and ongoing dialogue with designers and customers has yielded a timeless collection of pioneering products for high-performance workplaces, work-from-home settings, and luxury residential interiors. A recipient of the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Knoll has championed sustainable practices in manufacturing. Knoll is a part of MillerKnoll, a collective of dynamic brands that comes together to design the world we live in. For more information, visit knoll.com.