Born in Baltimore in 1919, Platner began his design career at Cornell University, studying architecture. He graduated in 1914, and headed straight into the commercial world, by working with designers such as I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, and Raymond Loewy. In 1955 he received the Rome Prize in architecture, and he was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame in 1985.
Platner’s trademark style has been mimicked by many, but none can beat the original master. He created intricate mesh steel bases and upholstered seats that blurred the lines of interior and exterior spaces. Seemingly hooked by this idea, Platner created a stylised collection of furniture, including the ‘Wire Lounge Chair’ as well as the accompanying coffee table, dining table and stool.
Platner was deeply committed to creating clutter free office spaces that were efficient and understated. He chose colour schemes to fit a warm environment, and installed custom made furniture to eradicate any unnecessary effort. This included desks with built in telephones, and special compartments for various files.
Platner did not limit himself to tables and chairs; he also created lighting fixtures, floor and window coverings, furniture and architectural ornaments for a variety of clients. This included the interior design of Water Tower Place, a vertical shopping mall that opened in Chicago in 1976.
Right up until his death in 2006, Platner was heavily involved with his firm and the production of his signature furniture.