Diving into the life and architectural work of the inspiring female architect Florence Knoll Bassett, this is the fifth episode in a series where each installment features the lifework of a particular, notable woman in the field. Previous episodes of New Angle: Voice have covered the lives, struggles, and achievements of several women of great importance, including the likes of Julia Morgan, Natalie de Blois, Helen Fong, and the esteemed Norma Sklarek.
With a career that demonstrates incredible perseverance and ingenuity, Florence Knoll’s legacy is also one to be remembered. Born in Saginaw, Michigan in May 1917, Florence Knoll Basset was educated at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Columbia University School of Architecture, and the Architectural Association of London, among other institutions. She is remembered for innovative contributions to many different aspects of the design world, particularly her work in interior design and the creation of the “open-plan work station,” a concept which freed office workers from the dark and gloomy cubicle.
With many awards and honors including the Good Design Award from MoMA and the AIA Gold Medal for Industrial Design, as well as many major projects including work with the Rockefeller Family Offices and General Motors, Knoll’s legacy is extensive and impressive, and hers is certainly a name worth knowing.
In an effort to recenter women in the historical narrative, the New Angle: Voice series provides a place to correct the biases that have so often erased or overshadowed women’s voices. Listening to this podcast, one can “imagine sitting with these pioneering women, who opened up the magic of the built environment professions to all who had the gifts, grit and persistence to endure.”
To listen to this episode and more, you can find the podcast on Apple podcasts: apple.co/3t9xUqP
Sponsored by Knoll, a MillerKnoll company, and SOM.
For more information about BWAF or New Angle: Voice, please reach out to me here or contact C.C. Sullivan. Thanks for your interest!
The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and advancing the recognition of women’s contributions to architecture. BWAF both commissions and curates research that pertains to women working at all levels within all fields of practice including architecture, engineering, construction, design, landscape, preservation, and planning. In 2017, BWAF launched the award-winning website of Pioneering Women of American Architecture, preserving the legacies of historically significant women born before 1940, who contributed to creating the American built environment between 1880 and 1980.