previews

  • George Nelson, Swaged Leg Chair, 1954, and Swaged Leg Desk, 1958.

    George Nelson

    Vitra Design Museum
    Charles-Eames-Str. 1
    July 17, 2013–March 1, 2009

    Curated by Jochen Eisenbrand

    Asked to respond to the name George Nelson, most Design Within Reach aficionados would first mention either his Platform Bench of 1946 or his Marshmallow Sofa of 1956. But as designer, writer, curator, and design director at Herman Miller, Nelson did it all: Like the Eameses, whose work he promoted at the firm, he was an interdisciplinary, multimedia, one-man show. Nelson was mostly a believer in design’s ability to better the world, and his written critiques of the conformist banality brought about by populism, and his television program of 1960, How to Kill People: Problem of Design, reveal his keen insight into the field’s darker underbelly. Complicating the easy narrative of normative midcentury modernism, this retrospective—which includes some seventy pieces of furniture, twenty clocks, several films, and much else besides—promises intelligent design for Platform perchers and Marshmallow loungers alike.