Florence Knoll
Florence Knoll Bassett (b. 1917) is an American architect and furniture designer who studied under Mies van der Rohe and Eliel Saarinen. She was born in Saginaw, Michigan as Florence Schust. She graduated from the Kingswood School before studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She also received a bachelor's degree in architecture from Armour Institute (now Illinois Institute of Technology) in 1941 and briefly worked with leaders of the Bauhaus movement, including Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Wallace K. Harrison. While a student on the campus of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Florence Knoll Bassett became a protegée of Eero Saarinen. In 1946, she married Hans Knoll, and they formed Knoll Associates. When Hans Knoll died in a car accident in 1955, Florence Knoll took over operation of the company. As a pioneer of the Knoll Planning Unit, she revolutionized interior space planning with her belief in "total design.” For her contributions to architecture and design, Florence Knoll was accorded the National Endowment for the Arts' prestigious 2002 National Medal of Arts.