September 13, 2008 – March 01, 2009
An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum
In 2008, the American designer George Nelson (1908-1986) would have been 100 years old. In recognition of this centennial anniversary, the Vitra Design Museum is planning the first comprehensive retrospective on his work.
Trained as an architect with a degree from Yale, Nelson was one of the defining figures of American design in the latter half of the 20th century. He created classics of modern furniture and interior design like the Coconut Chair (1956), the Marshmallow Sofa (1956), the Ball Clock (1947), the Bubble Lamps (starting in 1952) and the Action Office (1964). Nelson was not only a successful designer but also an acclaimed writer and editor, lecturer, exhibition designer and passionate photographer. In his many essays on design, he was one of the most prominent voices among his peers in reflecting on the working conditions, duties and objectives of his profession at a time when the field and its image were still in the formative years.
Nelson’s conception of design as a system, his approach that went beyond mere styling and always took into consideration the greater nexus of interrelated interests and concerns as well as his achievements in the teaching of design give his oeuvre particular relevance and appeal in today’s context.