1966 Outdoor Collection
“Outdoor furniture should be enhanced by the elemtents- Wind, sun and rain should pass freely through. They should breathe.” -Richard Schultz
When Florence Knoll moved to a seaside home in Florida, she began sending the design team rusty pieces of furniture and requested that they develop something that would perform in the salty climate. Richard Schultz’s response was the aluminum Leisure Collection in 1966. It is regarded as the first collection of truly modern outdoor furniture.
The need for such a casual, indoor-outdoor collection has long been a subject of discussion in the trade – and among customers long accustomed but not resigned, to puddle-collecting, joint-rusting, hot-seat upholstered products which comprise the bulk of such furniture.
The Knoll pieces are cool to sit on, won’t collect rain, dry rapidly after rain or dew and recommend themselves to outdoor corrosion is a constant problem, And where indoor-outdoor living overlaps, the designs are especially appropriate.
Richard Schultz has long been an integral part of the Knoll story. After studying mechanical engineering and design at Iowa State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Schultz joined Knoll in 1951. His first assignment was to assist Harry Bertoia on the development and production of the Bertoia Wire Collection. This led to an 18-month assignment in Europe, establishing and supervising production of the Bertoia designs for Knoll subsidiaries and licensees. After returning to the U.S., he joined the Design Development Group at the Knoll factory in East Greenville, PA.