Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Humane Letters
College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, February 21, 2008
Florence Knoll Bassett is considered one of the towering figures of 20th century interior designers. She was educated as an architect and made her reputation as a furniture designer and interior space planner. After working with Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology and then as an apprentice with Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she moved to New York where she met her future husband and business partner, Hans Knoll. There, she applied the Bauhaus ideals from her studies and re-directed the company's Scandinavian style to the International style that eventually led Knoll Associates to become the third largest manufacturer of contract furnishings in the world. She designed numerous interiors of very large projects throughout the world including university dormitories, hospitals, hotels, banks, office buildings, and Knoll Showrooms as well as establishing her own line of furniture for the home and workplace. In 2004, she designed her first museum gallery exhibition of her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.