The reintroduction of George Nelson's Swag Leg Desk (1958) was driven by today's propensity for working on laptop computers. With the exception of adding cable management to suit today's compact electronics, the desk is as George Nelson designed it 50 years ago. Back then, the motivation to create such a desk began with Nelson asking "wouldn't it be beautiful to have some kind of sculptured leg on a piece of furniture?" An idea was launched, but the designer had to figure out how to make the legs of metal, machine formed and pre-finished - and all designed for quick assembly. The solution turned out to be swaging, which means using pressure to taper and curve a metal tube. Nelson had found a way to make his sculptured legs, and in the process he created a precursor to today's workstation.
Possessing of one of the most inventive minds of the century, George Nelson is one of those rare people who can envision what isn't there yet. Nelson himself has described his creative abilities as a series of "zaps" flashes of inspiration and clarity that he was able to turn into innovative design ideas.
One such "zap!" came in 1942 when Nelson conceived the pedestrian shopping mall detailed in his "Grass on Main Street" proposal. Soon after, he pioneered the concept of built-in storage with Storagewall, a system of storage units that rested on slatted platform benches. The first modular storage system ever, it was showcased in Life magazine and caused an immediate sensation in the furniture industry. Read more >