Left: Portrait of George Nelson, 1965, Right: The famous bubble lamp series first designed in 1947

Left: Portrait of George Nelson, 1965, Right: The famous bubble lamp series first designed in 1947

Left: The Swag Leg Desk, designed in 1958, Technical Illustration courtesy of DWR, Right: The Coconut Chair designed in 1955

Left: The Swag Leg Desk, designed in 1958, Technical Illustration courtesy of DWR, Right: The Coconut Chair designed in 1955

Left and Right: Inspired by Japanese design, The Nelson Miniature Chests, 1951, Images Archival image courtesy of Vitra Design Museum and Herman Miller 

Left and Right: Inspired by Japanese design, The Nelson Miniature Chests, 1951, Images Archival image courtesy of Vitra Design Museum and Herman Miller 

Left: George Nelson reclining, Archival image courtesy of Vitra Design Museum, Right: The Marshmallow Sofa, 1956, co designed with Irving Harper, Photo courtesy of Herman Miller, Technical Illustration courtesy of DWR  

Left: George Nelson reclining, Archival image courtesy of Vitra Design Museum, Right: The Marshmallow Sofa, 1956, co designed with Irving Harper, Photo courtesy of Herman Miller, Technical Illustration courtesy of DWR

 

Some of the bedside clocks designed by George Nelson, Images courtesy of Hive Modern 

Some of the bedside clocks designed by George Nelson, Images courtesy of Hive Modern 

Images, clockwise: The Marshmallow Sofa, 1956, Pedestal stools, designed in 1954, The Nelson X Table, 1950 and The Nelson Platform Bench, 1946

Images, clockwise: The Marshmallow Sofa, 1956, Pedestal stools, designed in 1954, The Nelson X Table, 1950 and The Nelson Platform Bench, 1946

Above: Just a few of the clocks designed by George Nelson 

Above: Just a few of the clocks designed by George Nelson 

Left: The award winning Action Office, 1960's, co designed with Robert Propst, Right: The Pedestal side table, 1954

Left: The award winning Action Office, 1960's, co designed with Robert Propst, Right: The Pedestal side table, 1954

Left: Comprehensive Storage System, 1959, Right: Daybed, 1950 

Left: Comprehensive Storage System, 1959, Right: Daybed, 1950 

 

One of our favorite designers and architects of all time and one that we actually own a significant number pieces of is George Nelson, 1908-1986. A true visionary and a leader in modernist design, Nelson described his creative abilities as a series of “zaps” – flashes of inspiration and clarity that he turned into innovative design ideas. The purity and his consistent body of functional but whimsical design has inspired SMH, INC and we consider ourselves lucky to be able to work with his designs in our interiors and shoots, in particular with our regular client Design Within Reach.

In 1946, Nelson became director of design at Herman Miller, a position he held until 1972. While there, he recruited other seminal modern designers, including the equally amazing Charles Eames and Isamu Noguchi. It is important to note that Nelson’s studio housed a lot of talented designers and many of George Nelson’s designs were designed under the studio name, George Nelson Associates, Inc. An example is the Marshmallow Sofa, which was actually co-designed by Irving Harper, and also the Action Office, for which Nelson won the prestigious Alcoa Award, was co-designed by Robert Propst. Nelson was obviously a genius who steered these talented pool of designers to create much of the 20th century's most iconic modernist furniture.

George Nelson has been credited with designing over 150-300 different clocks, the pedestal range of furniture, the bubble lamp series, the coconut chair, the swag leg series and the comprehensive storage system to name but a few. The Vitra Foundation in Germany holds the archive which includes approximately 7,400 items and The Herman Miller Archives in Michigan holds over 500. 

Read more about George Nelson at this great website and resource at The George Nelson Foundation

This layout is designed by SMH, INC for the sole purposes of this blog, any pictures requiring further crediting, please let us know and we are more than happy to do so. 

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