Although born in Sweden, Carl Magnusson grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. He studied architecture and design at the University of Idaho and at the Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 1966, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the office of Charles Eames. He later worked as a designer for an architectural office, eventually opening his own studio there. In 1976 Magnusson joined Knoll as Director of Graphics and Showroom Design and was promoted to Director of Design for Europe shortly thereafter. He directly designed Knoll showrooms in London, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Zurich, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam and Turin. Magnusson’s responsibility grew in 1993 when he was named senior vice president, director of design worldwide, then executive vice president, director of design in 2003. He also began the Knoll Design Symposium, held annually at the Cranbrook Art Academy during the mid-1990s, and is co-founder and director of the Knoll Museum in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. Magnusson has also designed the Magnusson desk in its three different forms, Uptown, Midtown and Downtown, the RPM chair and Spello Execututive desk.
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