Knoll, Inc. is a leading designer and manufacturer of furnishings, textiles and leathers for the workplace and home. It was founded in New York in 1938 by Hans Knoll (1914-1955), a German émigré. At that time, he named the company HG Knoll. In 1941, Knoll paired with furniture designer Jens Risom to launch the Hans Knoll Furniture Company. Florence Schust, a graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, joined the company in 1943; in 1946, she and Knoll married. At that time, they changed the name of the company to Knoll Associates. In 1945, Knoll launched its Knoll Planning Unit under Florence’s direction. She also launched a textiles division in 1947. Florence Schust Knoll assumed directorship of the firm in 1955, after Hans’ death. The company was later sold to Art Metal, Inc. In 1965, Robert Cadwallader became president, the same year Massimo Vignelli was head of graphic design and advertising.
Knoll sells its products primarily through a direct sales force, showrooms, and a broad network of independent dealers. Knoll products are exhibited in major art museums worldwide, including more than 150 pieces in the permanent collection of Cooper Hewitt. In 2011, Knoll received the Cooper Hewitt,Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement.