The story of the Womb Chair dates back to the 1940s. Florence Knoll had recently joined her husband’s furniture business, Knoll Studio, and was on the lookout for a talented designer to create a lounge chair especially for them.
The brief, though clear, was certainly a little unconventional for the time: ‘I want a chair that is like a basket full of pillows… something I can really curl up in.’
Finnish-American designer Eero Saarinen, whose work she was familiar with from her time at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Michigan, was the man for the job. He was known for his futuristic style, and his ideas about comfort were aligned with Florence’s.
In fact, one of the first decisions Eero made for the chair was that it shouldn’t have to rely on excessive padding to be comfy, something that many of the chairs at the time did. Instead, he devised a curved inner frame that would mould to the contours of the human body, and provide comfort naturally.