Known as “the creator of beautiful and practical things,” Nelson was a visionary and his designs are often described as modern and timeless classics, characterized by its different shapes and variation of color schemes.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, after graduating from Hartford public High school in 1924, he attended Yale. He was looking for a refuge during a rainstorm, the architecture building was near him, and he found a student work display. Nelson felt fascinated by the student's work he decided to start his architecture studies. During his time at Yale, he received recognition on magazines for his excellent work and was hired by Adams and Prentice architecture firm and then started a new degree in Fine Arts. Nelson competed for the Roman Prize and obtained it; he later was awarded a two-year scholarship to study in Rome at the American Academy. He took advantage of this opportunity and interviewed essential architects of the era for the magazine Pencil Points.
He joined Architectural Forum, where he was an associate and consulting editor for a little time. After the firm closed when the US entered into WWII, Nelson decided to teach architecture at Columbia University. After teaching, Nelson met the president of Herman Miller manufacturer. He incorporated the team as Director of Design, which he held until 1972. Nelson was in charge of producing catalogs with furnishing designs. At the same time, he was working for Herman Miller; Nelson was able to open George Nelson & Associates, located in New York, and created a partnership with many known designers like Irving Harper, George Mulhauser, Don Chadwick, Robert Brownjohn in the company of many others. With them, he created many showrooms, exhibitions and product designs for many companies. From trademark benches, clocks and lamps, as well as the first L-shaped desk, his creations are considered part of the American industrial design history and are still under production.
Considered one of the founding fathers of American Modernism, his creations include many of the most iconic modern pieces of the era he represents. Architect, furniture designer, writer, graphic designer, aside from many other titles, he is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated mid-20th Century designers ever born in America.