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ERIC Number: EJ1200019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Knolling: The Art of Material Culture
Fritts, Lauren
Art Education, v72 n1 p50-58 2019
The term "knolling" was first used in 1987 by Andrew Kromelow, then a janitor at Frank Gehry's Santa Monica studio (Heathcote, n.d.). At the time, Gehry, an architect, was designing furniture for Knoll. While cleaning the studio, Kromelow would arrange displaced tools at 90° angles to create an organized surface. Perhaps done out of admiration for Florence Knoll's angular, modernist designs or some other reason, Kromelow's organization method allowed Gehry to see all his tools at once. More specifically, the designer was able to make visual relationships between each tool and its prospective use. Today, the process of arranging items of similar theme is called "knolling." In many contexts, materials are categorized into collections to be analyzed and compared. Knolling can be considered for exploration as part of the broader study of material culture. Advocacy efforts push for material culture studies as a foundational part of K-12 art education curriculum. Each artist mentioned in this instructional resource provides a unique approach to material culture through an aesthetic similar to knolling. Although material culture also refers to a vast range of actions and expressions, these artists have mastered the role of materials in their work. Through object juxtaposition, design concepts, and visual literacy, the innovators, sculptors, and photographers discussed in this resource offer a refreshing perspective to contemporary material culture.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A