Lilly Reich was a German designer. She began her career in the textile industry. In 1911, Reich began to design furniture and also worked as a window decorator for various companies. In 1912, Reich designed a prototype apartment for the working-class family for the “Berlin Gewerkschartshaus”, which was well received for its furniture's clean design and functionalism. The same year she joined the art handicraft association Deutscher Werkbund where she also became the first woman to be elected to their board of directors in 1920.
Reich worked as an exhibition designer for Messeamt in Frankfurt from 1924 until 1926, where she met the famous designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. They initiated both a design collaboration and a private relationship. They collaborated in several design projects that were well received. Reich was the artistic director of the German pavilion at the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona, which Mies also designed. It was to be the highlight of their designer careers. It was at this exhibition the design classic the Barcelona chair had it’s big breakthrough. During her career, Reich also worked with renowned designer Joseph Hoffman, and together they designed, among other things, the iconic armchair and sofa Kubus and the chairs Cabinet and Koller.