Designer Profile: Verner Panton
|George Nelson was one of the pioneers
of modernism, and his designs, which are still popular today epitomize the
perfect balance between form and function. Born in 1908 in Hartford, CT,
George Nelson was part of a generation of American architects whose abilities
and virtues were limited by the economic restrictions of the Great Depression.
George Nelson, a Yale University graduate, turned toward interior design
like many of his peers.
From the mid 1930’s throughout the 1940’s, Nelson held several
positions at various design-related publications, including first associate
editor of “Architectural Forum.” During this time, he stood
firmly for the founding principles of modernism and denounced the “selling
out” of many so-called modernists to the growing presence of commercialism.
But it was also during this time when, in 1945, he became head designer
for Herman Miller, a furniture company based in Zeeland, MI. At Herman Miller,
he designed a unique and innovative line of furniture whose popularity and
appeal has truly withstood the test of time. Such designs as the Nelson
Bench, the Marshmallow Sofa, and the Coconut
Chair were instant classics that are all still in production. Despite
Nelson’s remarkable contributions in furniture design, his biggest
contribution to the furniture industry as a whole, was the projects he commissioned
for Herman Miller. George Nelson was responsible for hiring designers like
Isamu Noguchi, Charles
Eames, Harry Bertoia and Donald Knorr to
create their most recognized achievements. George Nelson passed away in
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