We found a ship builder in New Jersey and he was working in fiberglass. We got excited about it and Eero developed the Womb Chair…. Eero Saarinen and I went out to New Jersey to beg this ship builder to make us some models. He was very skeptical. Mr. Winter was his name. I guess we were so young and so enthusiastic that he finally gave in and worked with us. We had lots of problems and failures until they finally got a chair that would work.

Florence Knoll

Eero Saarinen 1910–1961

Born in 1910, Eero Saarinen was surrounded by design his entire life; his father, Eliel Saarinen was an architect and director of the Cranbrook Academy of art and his mother, Loja Saarinen, was an acclaimed textile artist. In 1929, Saarinen traveled to Paris to study sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière before enrolling in the Yale architecture program. He returned to Cranbrook in 1934 where he met fellow designer and friend, Charles Eames. In 1947, Saarinen won a competition to design a monument for Thomas Jefferson in St. Louis. His Gateway Arch would mark one of the many triumphs of his short but incredibly productive career.