Cover image for George Nelson : the design of modern design
George Nelson : the design of modern design
Abercrombie, Stanley.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
xx, 353 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK1412.N45 A24 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



George Nelson (1908-1986) was a pioneering modernist who ranks with Raymond Loewy, Charles Eames, and Eliot Noyes as one of America's outstanding designers. Nelson's office produced some of the 20th century's canonical pieces of industrial design, many of which are still in production: the ball clock, the bubble lamp and the sling sofa. Nelson also made major contributions to the storage wall, the shopping mall, the multi-media presentation, and the open-plan office system. The author of this biography was given access to Nelson's office archives and personal papers.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Nelson, one of America's pioneering modernists, created some of industrial design's classic works. This book is a definitive biography and a well-researched reference for those readers fascinated by the development of the design profession after WW II. What is particularly pleasurable about reading this book is the inclusion of a profuse number of quotes from the man. His comment about the "absurd" architectural projects he was assigned while studying at Yale, where he was given the problem of designing a diplomat's residence on the outskirts of Peking, is classic: "What a bunch of nineteen-year-old kids from small towns in America with mostly middle-class parents knew about an ambassador's establishment--this was a little difficult to figure out." Nelson's ability to self-analyze is also refreshing: "As a designer I have contributed my mite to the modern look over the past two decades, and since modern is a mass style essentially, it is sometimes refreshing to walk back into an older world where the individual is more visible, particularly since it is disintegrating at a high rate of speed." Venice was one of his favorite subjects for photography, and some of these images are reproduced in the book. Overall, this is a joy to read and is an important document for all art historians and designers. Upper-division undergraduate through professional. J. Mendenhall; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo