Mod. 421 by Harry Bertoia, 1952

American Design

The immediate post-war years saw the emergence of a new generation of American architects and designers. Their ideas were based on the vision of modernity that representatives of the Modern Movement had brought to the USA as refugees from the war in Europe. These Modernist ideas became an important part of the economic recovery and brought American designers world renown.
This was exactly the case of George Nelson who started concentrate on furniture design in 1945 when he became Creative Director of Hermann Miller and began commissioning young talents such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Schultz and Isamu Noguci.
Charles e Ray Eames’ furniture produced by Hermann Miller played a fundamental role in the history of design. It was made possible thanks to experimentation with innovative materials such as stratified wood, synthetic resins, fiberglass and aluminium.
The other company that helped affirm the international importance of American design was Knoll. Founded by Hans Knoll in 1938 aiming to make it the most exclusive brand of contemporary design by working with the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Harry Bertoia, Florence Schust and Eero Saarinen.
The winning approach of these two companies was due to the influence that European thought had on the traditional American tendency to let productive and commercial issues totally govern the design process.