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Designer of Outdoor Cafe Furniture – Richard Schultz

April 19th 2012

Over the last 5 decades Richard Schultz has produced many iconic cafe furniture pieces that have stood the test of time and the design can still be classed as fashionable in today's world. Richard Schultz was born in 1926 and began his career by studying firstly at the Iowa State University as well as the Illinois Institute of technology in Chicago.

In 1951 Schultz joined office furniture giants Knoll in 1951 and was commissioned to work with Harry Bertoia and his experiments with metal. In his life he has also worked for Stow/Davis to design office furniture systems. Richard Schulz main work has been designing outdoor cafe furniture and his first design was a table aptly named the Petal Table. The original design was based on Queen Anne's Lace that is a common weed and the reason for this design was to accompany Bertoia's famous wire chairs. This design was recently made part of the permanent design collection in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was Florence Knoll that commissioned Schultz to begin making a range a of durable outdoor furniture.

The design that Schultz came up with was called the Leisure Line. The idea of this line was simplicity. The seat ad back of the cafe chairs were made from woven vinyl coated polyester yarn on a simple metal frame. There was also a chaise longue included in this range that was made in much the same way, but included wheels on one end to increase the mobility of the lounger. Matching dining tables were also created to accompany the outdoor furniture collection. Schultz broke away from Knoll but has never strayed too far from the company. Even the manufacturing plant that was owned by the Schultz family was located not too far from the Knoll headquarters. This month sees the Schultz collection returning to Knoll as Richard Schultz has decided to retire from his business at the age of 86.

Designer of Outdoor Cafe Furniture - Richard Schultz image 1Designer of Outdoor Cafe Furniture - Richard Schultz image 2

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