The first Nelson Bubble Lamp® product in half a century, the Nelson XL Lamp Shade (2010) is a completely new twist on the classic Bubble. Like any lampshade, this one is designed to work on a standard table or floor lamp base. Architect George Nelson, who was Herman Miller’s design director from 1946 to 1972, said: “Every truly original idea seems to find its most important expression in a chair.” And then he blew the doors off lighting design. When Nelson was outfitting his office, he coveted a silk-covered Swedish hanging lamp but found it prohibitively expensive. He then recalled seeing a photo in the paper of Liberty ships being mothballed “by having the decks covered with netting and then being sprayed with a self-webbing plastic,” said Nelson. “And then, Whammo!” Inspiration struck, and by the next night, Nelson had designed his first Bubble Lamp® (1947), using a spray coating of translucent plastic polymer over a skeleton of steel wire. The tautly stretched polymer cuts glare but allows light to shine through softly. Made in U.S.A.
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 >