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Florence Knoll Bassett, 101, designer of the Modern American office, dies

February 18, 2019

Florence Knoll Bassett died on January 25 in Coral Gables, FL, at the age of 101. As one of the most influential designers of postwar American offices, Florence Knoll Bassett (19172019) helped shape, style, and streamline corporate spaces for generations of workers in the US and around the world. Her major projects include office spaces for Heinz, CBS, Look magazine, Seagram, and Rockefeller Center as well as being the design force behind Knoll Inc. for more than two decades. Her promotion of open workspaces and movable furniture continues to influence office design as a means of collaboration, innovation, and productivity. In 1961, she became the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal for Industrial Design and she received the 2002 National Medal of Arts. Her designs continue to be found in offices and homes worldwide, as well as in the collections of institutions including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Knoll Bassett’s work is currently on display at Gracie Mansion as part of the exhibition She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York.

Related articles:

Florence Knoll Bassett, 101, Designer of the Modern American Office, Dies,” The New York Times, January 25, 2019.

The Soul of Knoll — In Memory of Florence Knoll Bassett,” Metropolis, January 30, 2019.

Florence Knoll via Knoll, Inc.