- Charles Eames
- Verner Panton
- Le Corbusier
- Eileen Gray
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
- Arne Jacobsen
- George Nelson
George Nelson was a prolific 20th Century journalist, architect and industrial designer. His most iconic works were undertaken during his time as Design Director with American Furnishings Company Herman Miller where he designed many items – particularly chairs and clocks - which are as famous and instantly recognisable today, as when they were first produced over 50 years ago.
Born in the Connecticut town of Hartford in 1908, George Nelson went from school in 1928 to study Architecture at the prestigious Yale University and from there to the American Academy in Rome to study fine arts where he finished his studies in 1934.
For the next decade, Nelson worked as an architectural journalist ending up as Co-Editor of the well respected publication “Architectural Forum”. In 1945 his writings caught the attention of the Michigan based Herman Miller Furniture Company, who approached Nelson and asked him to become a Design Director with them, where he continued his career until his retiral in 1971.
The Herman Miller Company gave Nelson the freedom to both oversee design and design his own furnishings. He discovered a number of new high profile furniture designers and introduced their products through the Herman Miller Company. These up and coming designers included Charles Eames (whose lounge chair is still in production with Herman Miller today), Isamu Noguchi and Harry Bertoia.
George Nelson’s own furniture designs also demonstrated a really modernistic and yet simple ability in design. His most enduring works include the 1955 ‘Coconut Chair’ and the 1956 ‘Marshmallow Sofa’. His whole ethos at Herman Miller was to make design the main driving force behind the company by producing more classic and yet innovative modern furnishings that would be less seasonal or fashionable and more enduring than had previously been the case. The testament to this is that many of the designs that he pioneered whilst at the company are still produced by them today.
His design talents did not stop at furniture. He had a particular interest in wall clocks and is accredited with many of the iconic clock designs of the time. In general George Nelson made it a uniquely successful period for the Herman Miller company during his time there and he left a legacy that the company still strives to maintain today.
George Nelson love of all aspect of design continued throughout his life. Even in his retirement he was considered to be one of the leading figures in industrial design, delivering well attended lectures around the USA. Nelson died in New York in 1986.