Live from Chattanooga, TN
Florence Knoll, the dynamic voice and storied designer that drove Knoll to new heights beginning in the early 1940s, loved designing tables. She called them the "meat and potatoes" of design, the seemingly plain and plainly boring objects necessary to fill a room, but unable to express much beyond utility. Perhaps she loved designing them so much because her work at Knoll tables obliterated those notions of the table as boring, or unimportant to a designer. Knoll embraced the concept of total design: that a room was not complete until every stick of furniture and every possible design choice and detail had been thought over, worked over, and made perfect, until the room was a harmonious whole. And you can't have complete rooms without complete tables. Her greatest accomplishments are now known only by her name: the Knoll Tables.
Rounded and squared, graceful and lovely, her tables set the industry gold standard. The Knoll Dining Table, Coffee Table, Side Table, and Table Desk, etc., have all become the baseline for excellence in table design. While Florence Knoll did everything beautifully, her contributions to the making and appreciating of tables is as important as anything else.
Of course, Knoll tables wasn't a one-woman show. Knoll has always been committed to bringing the finest minds and sensibilities from around the world to the problems of home, office, and public space design. Legends like Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, Jens Risom, Marcel Breuer, Frank Gehry, and George Nakashima all produced work for Knoll at one time or another, and many of their designs are now owned and manufactured exclusively by Knoll. These include the Barcelona Table, the Face Off Cafe Table, the Splay-leg Table, and the Tri-Oval Table. Knoll tables never fell into the trap of believing tables weren't important, or were too simple for the great minds to work on, and now, because of the foresight of Florence Knoll, you won't have to either.