American architect and furniture designer Florence Knoll Bassett was born Florence Schust in Michigan in 1917. She studied architecture under the likes of Eero Saarinen (at the Kingswood School on the campus of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan) and Mies van der Rohe (at the Armory Institute in Chicago). After working briefly for Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, she met and married Hans Knoll, who had established the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company in New York, becoming a full business and design partner. Knoll helped to re-direct the company toward a more modernist, international style. As an architect, Florence Knoll's own designs are cool, angular and reserved, reflecting her modernist sensibilities.