Born in 1910, known for his neo-futuristic style of graceful, organic shapes and line, Saarinen was a Finish American architect of industrial design. He is famous for designing the Washington Dulles International Airport, the Gateway Arch in St Louis, the TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport, and the CBS headquarters in New York.
Saarinen had a close relationship with designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll, future wife of design company founder Hans Knoll. Saarinen was first critically recognised while working for his father’s company, for a collaboration with Charles Eames for the ‘Organic Design in Home Furnishings’ competition in 1940. They won first prize for the Tulip Chair, and like all Saarinen’s chair designs, it was put into production by the Knoll furniture company.
Among his other acclaimed pieces were the Grasshopper, the Womb chair, and the 70 series seating collection. He is considered one of the masters of American 20th-century architecture and his designs, which employ modern materials in graceful, organic shapes, have helped establish the reputation and identity of the Knoll company. His award-winning sculptural approach to furniture design was often tailored to each individual project and thus his postmodern vision transcended style.