American designer George Nelson is responsible for some of the most well-known pieces of mid-century design, including the Ball Clock for Vitra and the Bubble Lamp for Herman Miller – now included in MoMA’s permanent collection.
Although originally trained as an architect, Nelson created furniture, exhibition and graphic design, and contributed over 150 magazine articles and a dozen books over the course of his career. Nelson designed his first furniture collection for Herman Miller in 1945 having caught the company’s eye with his modular Storage Wall, becoming design director at the company by 1947, and overhauling everything from its products to its graphics and marketing materials. He was also responsible for recruiting designers including Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi for the company.
Nelson left behind a catalogue of designs that have become iconic examples of their era.