George Nelson

Together with Charles & Ray Eames, architect turned designer George Nelson, was one of the founding fathers of American modernism. Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1908, Nelson studied architecture at Yale, and subsequently secured a placement at the American Academy in Rome, where he became acquainted with the major architectural works and leading protagonists of modernism. This experience would forever inspire his life as just a few years later in 1945 he was asked to be the Director of Design for Herman Miller after publishing a series on the best ways to make furniture innovative and useful. Nelson remained there until 1972, and during that time he not only convinced the likes of Charles & Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and Alexander Girard to work for Herman Miller but he created a variety of furnishings for the home and office under his own self-titled studio.

He is most well-known for his over 130 innovative clock designs and his creation of Bubble Lamps which are now displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A pioneer of American mid-century design, Nelson is recognised to this day for his ability to transform everyday objects into works of art.

Design Portfolio

Saucer Bubble Pendant Light

The Saucer Bubble pendant light is one of the most recognisable and popular designs in lighting history. First designed in 1947, this saucer-shaped light is made from a steel wire frame coated in an innovative, taut plastic that Nelson discovered after experimenting with surplus military materials post World War II. A product of material ingenuity, the Saucer provides an abundant yet diffused light free from glare. A brushed nickel-plated steel ceiling plate and discreet cord complete the unique, modern look.

Ball Bubble Pendant Light

Designed in 1947, the Ball Bubble pendant light is one of the world’s most recognisable lighting designs. A mid-century design classic, acrylic polyfibre fabric has been stretched over a wire frame to create this buoyant, glowing form. Ingeniously crafted from surplus military materials post WWII, Nelson managed to create a perfectly rounded form that provides abundant light free from glare. Completed by a ceiling rose and metalwork in a brushed nickel finish, and suspended by a 1.8 metre-long cord, this charming modern silhouette comes in three generous sizes to suit any interior space.