George Nelson

George Nelson

George Nelson (1908–1986) was an American industrial designer, and one of the founders of American Modernism. While Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company both Nelson, and his design studio, George Nelson Associates, Inc., designed much of the 20th century's most iconic modernist furniture.

In 1935 Nelson joined Architectural Forum, where he was first associate editor (1935–1943), and later consulting editor (1944–1949). There he defended the modernist principles, arguing against colleagues who, as "industrial designers", made too many concessions to the commercial forces of the industry. Nelson believed that the work of a designer should be to better the world. In his view, nature was already perfect, but man ruined it by making things that didn't follow the rules of nature. “The contemporary architect, cut off from symbols, ornament and meaningful elaborations of structural form, all of which earlier periods processed in abundance, has desperately chased every functional requirement, every change in sight or ornamentation, every technical improvement, to provide some basis for starting his work. Where the limitations were most rigorous, as for example in a factory, or in a skyscraper where every inch had to yield its profit, there the designers were happiest and the results most satisfying. but, let a religious belief or a social ideal replace the cubic foot costs or radiation losses, and nothing happened. There is not a single modern church in the entire country that is comparable to a first-rate cafeteria, as far as solving the problem is concerned.”[1] At this point Nelson’s career still mainly involved writing for architecture magazines, and not actually designing the solutions to modern living that he would later become famous for. During this period George Nelson spent a great deal of time interviewing and exchanging ideas with the other founders of the modernist architecture movement of the forties, including Eliot Noyes, Charles Eames, and Walter B. Ford, all of whom he would later collaborate with.

The George Nelson Associates, Inc. catalog, and exhibition designs for Herman Miller, made modernism the most important driving force in the company. From his start in the mid-forties until the mid-eighties George Nelson Associates, Inc. partnered with most of the modernist designers of the time. This was both the result of Nelson’s time as a magazine editor, and because of Nelson's writing. His skill as a writer helped legitimize and stimulate the field of industrial design by contributing to the creation of Industrial Design magazine in 1953.  Nelson wrote extensively, published several books, and organized conferences like the Aspen design gatherings, where for more than 30 years he was the guiding force.  In 1971, he received a grant from the Graham Foundation for his project "Hidden Cities". One of George Nelson's areas of interest was the reduction of pollution. Through his attempts to reduce all forms of pollution, including visual, audio, and chemical, Nelson pioneered the idea of the outdoor shopping mall, first using the idea in a proposal for the city plan of Austin, Texas, which was not used.

George Nelson retired with the closing of his studio in the mid-1980s. He died in New York City in 1986.

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George Nelson Style Eye Wall Clock
  • Human eye shaped wall clock
  • Nelson eye clock provides an excellent modern and sophisticated look.
  • Aesthetically crafted
George Nelson Style Sunburst Wall Clock Mutli Color
  • Elegant and boasts colorful design
  • Sunburst clock provides a contemporary look
  • Suitable for any room
  • Beautifully crafted
George Nelson Style Ball Wall Clock Mutli Color
  • Elegant and boasts colorful design
  • Balls clock provides a contemporary look
  • Suitable for any room
  • Beautifully crafted