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Designer Spotlight: Mies Van Der Rohe

Designer Spotlight: Mies Van Der Rohe

Perhaps one of the greatest architects of the 20th century was a German-born educator and designer named Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. According to the Mies Society, Van Der Rohe helped shape and define modern architecture by emphasizing open space to reveal the industrial materials used for the construction. His early career was mainly spent in his own country, designing residential structures such as his Riehl House.


It wasn’t long before Mies was widely regarded and respected throughout Europe for his innovative designs. One of his crowning achievements, that earned him such distinct recognition, was the Barcelona Pavilion. The structure showcased an elegant and sleek design that featured rich natural material to help it stand out as the future of architectural modernism. The building was not meant to house art or sculpture but rather would be a place of tranquility and escape. Included in his design were several chairs, originally designed as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain, that have since become icons of the modern movement of furniture design.


Mies eventually was named the director of Bauhaus, a world renowned German school of experimental art and design. He led the school until he was forced to close under pressure from the Nazi regime in 1933. After departing Germany, he traveled to Chicago where he began teaching his ‘less is more’ approach to design. While in Chicago, he met and mentored a young Florence Knoll, who always credited Mies as her most influential instructor. The relationship between the two eventually earned Knoll exclusive rights to produce his furniture, including the Barcelona collection, the Brno chair, and the MR series.

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We at Spaces, Inc. have come to not only admire the pieces of Mies Van Der Rohe but to respect them as well. A single usage of one of his pieces allows us to add the finishing touches to any office design transformation. To find out if your space could use a touch of modern, contact us at 913.894.8900 or

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