George Nelson

The George Nelson Story

Considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of American Modernism, George Nelson truly revolutionized modern design. Today, homes across America continue to tell time and illuminate their interiors with George Nelson clocks and bubble lamps, icons of mid-century modern design.

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The original clocks and lamps were designed by George Nelson Associates for both the Herman Miller ® Furniture Co. and the Howard Miller Clock Co. from the 1940s until the 1980s. These clocks and lamps were the most famous results of the effort to create home furnishings and accessories that were simple and streamlined, as functional as they were pleasing to look at.

Why We Love George Nelson

As an editor and writer for various architectural forums, George Nelson was eloquent and out-spoken about his modernist design ideals. Nelson believed that the work of a designer should be to better the world because, in his view, nature was already perfect; man only ruined it when he began making things that didn’t really follow the rules of nature. His post-war treatise on modern design, Tomorrow’s House (which introduced the concepts of the family room and storage walls) didn’t approach modern design so much as a style as a series of solutions to the problems of modern 20th century living.

Noteworthy Products From George Nelson

After falling out of favor for a time, Nelson’s minimalist designs are back and more popular than ever. George Nelson clocks are being reproduced today by Vitra, including the famous Ball Clock and Starburst Clock, among others.

In His Own Words

"Total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything."

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George Nelson