Harry Bertoia

Italy 1915-1978

Italian sculptor, university lecturer and furniture designer Harry Bertoia displayed a unique stroke of genius with his patented Diamond Chair for Knoll International in 1952. Bertoia was an inventor of form and an enricher of furniture design with his introduction of a new material: he turned industrial wire rods into a design icon. Educated at Detroit Technical High School, the Detroit School of Arts and Crafts and Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Bertoia taught metal crafts at Cranbrook. He worked with Charles Eames to develop his signature molded plywood chairs. Eero Saarinen commissioned him to design a metal sculptured screen for the General Motors Technical Center in Detroit. His awards include the craftsmanship medal from the American Institute of Architects, as well as AIA’s Gold Medal.