I can’t think of a more fitting venue for a George Nelson design show than Cranbrook — probably the single institution that had as much if not more influence on the Modern Design world as George Nelson himself.
The show itself was small yet impactful. This man billed as an Architect, Writer, Designer and Teacher (and indeed he did all those things) was in reality a world class Design Director. He had a vision of modernity at a time when the world was poised for change and he brought together amazing talent to design furniture for Herman Miller, exhibitions for the Worlds Fair, graphics and identities for many iconic companies, and products we all know and still love today.
Reading his biography on the wall of the exhibit made you wonder how one man could accomplish so much in a single lifetime. Then it made you (or me at least) think twice about my own life. Is it possible for a do-over? At any rate, I wasn’t supposed to take pictures but I couldn’t resist. Here are a few of the items on display that if he didn’t design himself, he encouraged and directed of others. You will recognize most but I was blown away by the graphic design above all — something I never even knew his firm did.