Carl Magnusson

Product/Industrial Designer / United States / CGM Design LLC

Regarded as one of the most acclaimed industrial designers today, Swedish-born Carl Gustav Magnusson has left his indelible mark on a wide range of products, including those for Teknion, Knoll, and MoMA.

Educated in architecture at the Chalmers Institute of Technology (Sweden), Magnusson translated his skills to high design when he began working for Ray and Charles Eames in Venice, California, in 1966. Soon after he opened his namesake studio, Magnusson Design, in Rudolf Schindler’s house in North Hollywood.

For over three decades, beginning in 1972, Magnusson forged a career with Knoll, serving as Director of Design in Europe and North America His designs—such as the RPM chair—remain a best seller to this day. He also commissioned work from more than 50 designers, including Frank Gehry, Maya Lin, an dross Lovegrove. During his Knoll tenure, Magnusson also initiated (1994) the Knoll Design Symposium at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills and co-founded (1995) the Knoll Museum in East Greenville, PA—considered the most comprehensive collection of archival items assembled by any single furniture manufacturer.

Carl Magnusson’s mantra, “Innovation is a unique combination of existing ideas,” best describes his firm, CGM Design, founded in 2005, which has received over 15 design awards for work with leading furniture and automotive manufacturers. Since age 65, Magnusson has received 21 awards, including the 2012 Legend Award from Contract magazine. He is also a sought-after lecturer and judge for prestigious international competitions such as the Yale Furniture Design Competition.

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