Greta M. Grossman

With a passion for design and architecture, Greta Grossman’s innovative ideas and aesthetics included a luxurious inclination on architectural design and timeless furniture shapes, creating a clean and colorful mix of Danish and SoCal aesthetic.

Born and raised in Helsingborg, Sweden, Grossman comes from a cabinetmaker Swedish family. Being the only female participant at a woodwork apprenticeship, she felt the need to work harder as she considered she could be on disadvantage. Her effort through the workshop helped her earn a scholarship to continue her studies at Konstfack. She transcended in her technical drawing skills and concentrated on her furniture, ceramics and textiles design at Konstfack to later study architecture in Stockholm.

In 1933 Grossman became the first woman to receive an award for furniture design from the Stockholm Craft Association. She traveled through Europe and wrote reports on the field of interior design and architecture for the Swedish paper. On that same year, she opened Studio, a mix between a workshop and a store, with her classmate Erik Ullrich, where she designed furniture pieces and produced them.

In 1940 she moved with her husband, Billy Grossman, to Los Angeles. Being one of the first designers to exhibit Scandinavian and Danish modern pieces in the United States, she became a part of the California modernism and opened a studio Rodeo Drive. There she sold her creations and imported Swedish furniture. Her designs were highly recognized and demanded. The Gräshoppa floor lamp and the Cobra floor and table lamp, for which she received the Good Design Award in 1950, are her most iconic and remembered designs.

All the recognition made Grossman become an industrial design teacher at several California institutions. After a very successful career, Grossman retired from design and architecture in the late 1960s.

Grossman was one of the couple women designers who were able to venture into the mid-20th Century and Danish Modern furniture design, interior design and architecture world. Although she was the architect of many homes in L.A. and Sweden, Grossman is mostly remembered and recognized for her role in industrial design.