OMA + Knoll Debut Furniture at the Prada Fashion Show

Knoll kicks off its 75th anniversary with a bang! A Prada bang, that is. Early this year, Knoll launched its new collaboration with OMA, the Dutch architecture practice cofounded by Rem Koolhaas and debuted it at the Prada Fashion show in Milan. Knoll has plentiful experience in knowing what works, having teamed up with the pantheon of modern masters – from Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen to Frank Gehry – in its time. 75 years in the game has not made Knoll any less experimental, however. Rather the opposite.

This year, we continue to push the boundaries further than ever with a new furniture collection entitled ‘Tools for Life.’ Picture this: With anticipation so thick it was palpable, The audience seated in a pit in the center of the space watches Prada models glide past the simple, no-nonsense palette of clear acrylic, juxtaposed with concrete; glass with leather; travertine with steel. Longtime friend of Koolhaas, Miuccia Prada described the set as “a still life of an imaginary bourgeoisie.” Koolhaas’ collection is as progressive as any of the Knoll collaborators that came before him: furniture as ‘high-performance tool’ rather than style statement, taking into account the ever-changing nature of contemporary lifestyles. ‘We wanted to create a range of furniture that performs in very precise but also in completely unpredictable ways, furniture that not only contributes to the interior but also to the animation,’ states Koolhaas.

This pairs perfectly with Knoll’s design director, Benjamin Pardo’s take on the collection; “the OMA pieces are more kinetic than static: many are easily adjustable so that with changes in height, adjacency and degree of privacy, almost any space can be transformed to a place of work.” It seems that Knoll is living out its 75th anniversary slogan of ‘Modern always.’

Marcy Nelson, Student IIDA
Knoll, Inc.

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