After graduating from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1953, Kazuhide Takahama designed the Japanese Pavilion for the Milan Triennale. While supervising the installation, Takahama met Dino Gavina, who invited him to design for his design company, Gavina SpA. Over the next decade, Takahama introduced several designs through Gavina, including a knocked-down storage unit called DaDa and a semi-circular shelving system called GEA.
When Knoll acquired Gavina in 1968, three lounge collections by Takahama — Marcel, Raymond and Suzanne (named after Takahama’s sister) — were added to the Knoll portfolio. Only the Suzanne proved popular enough to remain in the catalog. Designed in 1965, the Suzanne embodies Takahama’s acclaimed talent for fusing Eastern and Western design principles. While the materials and detailing were fully modern, the overall effect was one of serenity and simplicity.