The American industrial designer, architect, and journalist George Nelson was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1908. From 1928 to 1931 he attended Yale University, obtaining both a BA and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. From 1932 to 1934 he studied at the American Academy in Rome, returning to the US in 1935.
Between 1944 and 1949 George Nelson was an associate editor and then a consultant editor for the journal "Architectural Forum". As a journalist who wrote for "Pencil Point" magazine among other publications, George Nelson was in a position to popularize American readers with the European avant-garde.
From 1946 until 1972 George Nelson was director of design at the famous company Herman Miller Furniture. In 1947 he founded his own small company in New York, which became George Nelson & Associates in 1953, with Gordon Chadwick as a partner. While working for Herman Miller, Nelson introduced several important innovations in office furniture design. Of his own designs, the "Swagged Leg Group" (1958), which includes the "DAF" and "MAA" chairs, is particularly nameable. In 1946 George Nelson created "Platform", a simple and functional bench for Herman Miller. The best known George Nelson designs include the "Coconut Chair" (1955), with a triangular seat inspired by a piece of coconut shell. The "Marshmallow" sofa (1956) is another revolutionary George Nelson design, with a seat and back made of individual round cushions.
The books "Tomorrow's House" (1945), "Living Spaces" (1952), "Chairs" (1953), "Problems of Design" (1957) and "How to See" (1977) belong to George Nelson´s best known publications.
George Nelson died in New York in 1986. The Vitra Design Museum is in charge of his archives.