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The Cranbrook Connection

They designed iconic furniture and defined a movement. But first Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll, Ray and Charles Eames, and Harry Bertoia became lifelong friends.


Ever since Herman Miller and Knoll joined forces to become MillerKnoll, we’ve gotten one question quite a lot: “How can two major competitors suddenly become collaborators?” Well, as it turns out, it’s not so sudden at all.

In the video that we’re about to watch, MillerKnoll’s brand historian takes us back to the Cranbrook Academy of Art where our most iconic designers first met in the 1930s - Florence Knoll, Ray and Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia. Through the decades that followed, they remained colleagues, collaborators, and friends—their design voices shaping not only Knoll and Herman Miller, but modernism as we know it today.

So, in a way, MillerKnoll brings it all full circle. And suddenly, the union seems almost inevitable.