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Lamps and Clocks #George Nelson

While George Nelson was the design director of the furniture company Herman Miller, he also produced for his subsidiary, the Howard Miller Clock Company, his well-known Ball, Spike, Block or Spindle wall clocks, iconic pieces and features of an era. Interestingly, the same company also produced some of the lamps designed by Nelson.

The Bubbles lamp series was designed by Nelson as large-format lighting for his own studio. In “one of those happy accidents that only occur once in a lifetime,” Nelson used plastic material developed by the naval industry during World War II to form a film when spraying on wire structures. Later, he would also develop the Lantern series, with more complex shapes, using folded or molded plastic, both for ceiling lamps and for table lamps on wooden feet.

Another of Nelson’s lamps, a large table lamp with a sunshade reflector, was designed for the living room of the model vacation home that Nelson built for the Holiday magazine and inhabited himself. Result, like the # Case Study Houses, of the collaboration between architecture, industry and the media to promote modernity and the American way of living, this house, a binuclear house with a central courtyard facing all the rooms, was equipped with furniture by Nelson or the Eames and with the latest developments in automation.

Although the Holiday House lamp was not mass-produced, it served as an inspiration for the Half Nelson lamp. This smaller table lamp, one of George Nelson’s most elegant designs, was formed by a cylindrical volume that concealed the source of illumination and an adjustable disk-shaped reflector.

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