Carl Gustav Magnusson (born March 8, 1940) is an industrial designer, inventor, design juror and lecturer.
Life and career
Carl Gustav Magnusson was born in Malmö, Sweden and 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 joined the Office of Charles and Ray Eames in California and shortly thereafter opened his own design practice in Rudolf Schindler's studio on Kings Road in West Hollywood, California.
In 1976 Magnusson joined Knoll as Director of Graphics and Showroom Design and was promoted to Director of Design for Europe shortly thereafter. He designed Knoll showrooms in London, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Zurich, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam and Turin. In 1993 when he was named Senior Vice President, Director of Design Worldwide, and, in 2003, Executive Vice President, Director of Design. He established the Knoll Design Symposium at Cranbrook Academy of the Arts in Bloomfield Hills and in 1997; he co-founded The Knoll Museum in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, which houses the most comprehensive display of archival collector items by any furniture manufacturer.
He has designed products for Knoll, Teknion, Stegner Engineering, Arexit, Momentum Textiles and the MoMA Design Store (co-designed with his wife, Emanuela Frattini Magnusson). In 2005, the Magnussons founded CGM Design which serves furniture and automotive manufacturers in product development and design strategy. He has lectured on design matters for BMW, Knoll, Maharam, AIA and Waterworks, among others.
- Contract Magazine Legend Award, 2012
- MAST Monitor Arm System for Teknion: Chicago Atheneum Good Design Award
- A-Fold: iF Product Design Award
- Conflux Lighting: Green Good Design Award
IIDEX Gold Award,
Neocon Gold Award for Lighting
iF Design Award,
Building Magazine: Grand Award for Innovation; Innovation Award Lighting for energy efficiency
- Synapse Chair: NeoCon Gold
Green Star Sustainability Award
Good Design Award
Bloom Award for Furniture (ASID and Interiors and Sources)
- IIDEX/Neocon Marketplace: Innovation Gold Award
the iF Design Award
- Pacific Design Center Lifetime Achievement Award
"Everything that I do has a certain mechanical logic to it, and follows my definition of design--which is function with cultural content." - Carl Magnusson
“Cultural content imbues the item with our history, our inescapable style of our time and its values. Yet, a designed object must meet the functional and manufacturing cost requirements that allow customers to afford it. If the price is prohibitive then what function does it perform?” - Carl Magnusson
- Designers & Books
- Contract Legend Award, 2012
- Fast Company, 2010
- Classic Driver, 2010
- Classic Driver, 2009