Florence Schust Knoll

Florence Marguerite Schust was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Frederick E. Schust and Mina Haist Schust. Frederick Schust was born about 1882 in either Switzerland or Germany, was a native German speaker, and the 1920 United States Federal Census describes him as the superintendent of a commercial bakery. Mina was born about 1887 in Michigan, although her parents had been born in Canada. Frederick died relatively young, some time before the 1930 United States Federal Census.
From 1932-34, Knoll attended Kingswood School in Cranbrook, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1934-35, where she studied under Eliel Saarinen . In 1935, she studied town planning at the School of Architecture at Columbia University. From 1936-37, she explored furniture-making with Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. From 1938-39, she was at the Architectural Association in London, and was influenced by Le Corbusier 's International style, but she left as World War II was spreading.
In 1940, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts , and worked for Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer , and was influenced by the Bauhaus school and Marcel Breuer's steel-tubed modern furniture. This led to the Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour Institute) in Chicago, where she studied under Mies van der Rohe. She had many mentors who influenced her design.

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