Knolling, Pt. II

Last week I posted the materials that got me interested in knolling.  Here is a link to last week's blog.  From Wikipedia: "Knolling is the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization."  I went to the library to do some research and to learn more about Knoll Associates, a modern furniture company whose angular designs inspired the term.  It was a summery day.

I went to the Art & Architecture Library in the Steven A. Schwarzman Building - the Main Branch of the New York Public Library.

This is the book I was looking for.  Entitled Knoll Index of Designs, the book was originally spiral bound, but the spiral was cut out and the pages were rebound into the hardcover book you see here.  The pages are a heavy card stock and you can see cuts at the edges where the book was rebound.  There are 79 pages, the publication date is 1950.  There is no library of congress card in the book, just the address of the Knoll Showroom on Madison Avenue, so I think the book is a catalog that they distributed to their clients.  I imagined that I was a company vice president in 1950 and I wanted to buy a desk and some chairs for my office.  I photographed many of the pages because I thought that they were inspiring.  I will post the photographs here.

A visual index of the designs serves as the table of contents.  There is a short text on the preceding page that begins, "This book is concerned with equipment for contemporary living in terms of human needs."  There is an abstract feeling of idealism overtaking reality.

This photograph of birds in flight begins the Chair section of the catalog.  On the preceding page, there is a discussion about how Knoll chairs are like architecture.  "The modern chair belongs to a modern way of life.  New principles of construction, new methods of joining, new techniques and materials have contributed to the advancement in chair design."

Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Chairs in Philip Johnson's Glass House.

Saarinen's 70 chair at the Knoll Showroom in Dallas.  The interior photos are all mysterious.  It was in rooms like these where they figured out how to put a man on the moon.

Knoll also sold some really cool textiles.  "The infinite variety in modern textiles keeps pace with the times."

Room 315 at the NYPL.  Much reading going on.


  • Alice

    Knoll still have the imprimatur on some major designers stuff from the past: van der Rohe’s sofas, Breer’s Wassily Chair and the above examples all still available … at a price. At quite a price. But beautiful: and modernism is nostalgic now too.

  • Sintia

    Love these prttey and all the gorgeous colors too! i agree..they don’t seem too comfortable..but i’ll still take them! have a lovely visit my blog when you have a moment! xx meenal

  • Anitra

    AFAICT you’ve cvoreed all the bases with this answer!

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