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prologue       5
living master painters and sculptors.

Shu's criteria were: quality, beauty, simplicity, function, and comfort. Long before the word ergonomics entered the current lexicon and recent studies proved her point, she understood that a well-planned environment creates the atmosphere for productive living and working. In the Knoll Planning Unit, she originated a process of systematic problem-solving, rational planning and innovative methods of presentation which are utilized today by thousands of professionals in a multi-billion dollar industry of contract interior design and furniture specification.

Although Shu is no longer, in the strict sense, professionally active, she continues in the design and running of her own homes and as an informal consultant to her family and friends and the Southeast Bancorp, Florida's largest bank of which Hood Bassett is the former chairman, to practice "the general principle of structural and organic order permeating all things" which Eliel Saarinen taught her. In that sense of integrity and consistency, the motto of Mary Queen of Scots, "In my end is my beginning" is rightfully hers too. This is the thesis upon which this book rests and the reason that it begins at Kingswood.

The prologue for a proposed book by Maeve Slavin in the sixties didn't happen. I was hesitant because it would envolve [[involve]] publicity and interviews after I had returned from all that.