Warren Platner, 1919 - 2006

Warren PlatnerWarren Platner studied at Cornell University, graduating in 1941 with a degree in architecture.

He went on to work with legendary architects Raymond Loewy, Eero Saarinen, and I. M. Pei before opening his own architecture practice. Platner made notable architectural contributions throughout his career, including the Georg Jensen Design Center and the Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center, both in New York City.

It was his furniture collection for Knoll, however, that earned Platner worldwide renown. Originally introduced by Knoll in 1966, the Platner Collection is an icon of modern furniture. Platner personally formulated the production techniques for the complicated designs with each chair requiring over a thousand welds and more than one hundred cylindrical steel rods.

Reflecting a dramatic shift in cultural values, modernism became more expressive in the 1960s. Platner felt there was an opportunity to merge the competing aesthetics of the time.

“I began to think about what I thought furniture, specifically a chair, really might be...What I wanted to achieve was a chair that, number one, was complementary to the person sitting in it, or to the person in the space between the wall and the chair.”