For several decades (1908-1986), George Nelson has shaped the Furniture Design Industry as it is today. Being the Director of Design in the Herman Miller Furniture Company and the owner of George Nelson Associates, Inc, Nelson was a key figure in the Modernist style and designed much of the iconic modernist furniture of the 20th Century.
Nelson did not really had architecture in his mind for a career path. Upon seeking shelter on the Architecture School at Yale due to a heavy storm, Nelson came upon an exhibit entitled "A Cemetery Gateway" which inspired him to pursue design and architecture. In 1928, he eventually graduated at Yale with a degree on Architecture and worked as a drafter for the architecture firm Adams and Prentice.
This is, however, just the start of his training. Upon winning a contest, he was awarded a trip to Rome wherein he will master his craft for a year. Upon returning to the United States, Nelson devoted himself to designing and writing and soon came into contact with the very group that will help him become an Icon in 20th Century modernism.
Known as the creator of "Beautiful and Practical Things", Nelson pioneered the mentality of melding aesthetics and utility when designing furniture. For him, any furniture should not be content on looking pretty; it must be designed in such a manner that it reflects the values of the modern man and his needs. This push for a more realistic yet ergonomic design makes his style long lasting and relevant up to recent times.
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