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Donald Knorr

1922 - 2003

Architecture intern at Eero Saarinen’s office in the late 40's, Donal Knorr is the author of the chair that won the competition for low cost furniture promoted by Moma in 1948. The chair became part of the Matrix International Codici collection in 2008

Donald Knorr

After graduating in architecture in 1947, Donald Knorr attended Cranbrook, where he met with Eero Saarinen and began working in his office, participating to the development of the furniture of the 70 series for Knoll. In 1948 he submitted an entry, with the encouragement of his mentor Eero Saarinen, in the competition by MoMA for low-cost furniture design, winning first prize on a par with the German George Leowald. The chair submitted my Donald was made of a thermo-formed plastic sheet, with metal legs. When Knoll Associates acquired the rights to manufacture the chair, the company introduced some changes to the project due to technical and formal requirements. The material chosen for the seat was metal sheet, the amplitude of the lower bend was reduced, and legs were modified to strengthen its fixing to the shell. The New York based company Treitel Gratz produced the chair for Knoll between 1950 and 1952. Donald R. Knorr established Knorr Architecture in 1951, and his firm is still operating under the direction of Torin Knorr.

Suggested readings
Vitra Design Museum
Alexander von VegesackPeter DunasMathias Schwartz-Clauss," 100 Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection", The Museum, 1996