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Designer

George Nelson

Widely considered one of the founders of American Modernism, George Nelson is renowned for his collaborations with the likes of Vitra and Herman Miller. Throughout his career he created many products that are now exemplary designs in their respective genres.

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Widely considered one of the founders of American Modernism, George Nelson is renowned for his collaborations with the likes of Vitra and Herman Miller. Throughout his career he created many products that are now exemplary designs in their respective genres.

The Conran Shop

Entering the architectural world by chance when he ducked into Yale University’s architecture school to escape a rainstorm, George Nelson went on to study architecture at the American Academy in Rome. When living in Rome, Nelson wrote for Pencil Points magazine and in doing so became acquainted with modernist pioneers such as Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. The articles Nelson wrote for Pencil Points helped to introduce the designs of Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Gio Ponti to North America.

George Nelson went on to write for Architectural Forum and co-authored a post-war book called Tomorrow's House with Henry Wright. The chairman of the furniture company Herman Miller, D.J. Depree, was so impressed by Nelson’s unique insights in Tomorrow’s House that he made him the company's next Director of Design, despite his lack of experience in designing furniture. In this role, Nelson created designs for the home and office that cemented his position as a key figure of American design.

Bubble Pendant Saucer Large

Bubble Pendant Saucer Large

Designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, the iconic large saucer Bubble Pendant is a lauded classic that has become synonymous with 1950s design thanks to its striking aesthetic.

Forming part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this celebrated saucer shaped pendant was inspired by a set of Swedish hanging lamps that George Nelson encountered on his travels.

Expertly crafted using a cocooning white plastic spray that was originally developed for the U.S. military, the Bubble Pendant has been on the forefront of innovation since it’s conception. In using this innovative technique, Nelson has succeeded in providing the lamp with a smooth and translucent finish reminiscent of the silk cocoons spun by butterflies.

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