The midcentury modern tsunami of a design trend continues to pick up a dizzying head of steam – with a new push from Herman Miller:
The company has reissued George Nelson’s minimalist designs for the bedroom, circa 1950.
It’s called the Thin Edge Group, and it consists of a bed, day bed, bubble lamp, double door cabinet, buffet and bedside table.
The new bed’s caned headboard is just as sleek as the one the modern master designed, but it’s now offered in walnut and white ash as well. “It’s a very classic design – one that we identified as a piece that could work again,” says Amy Auscherman, corporate archivist at Herman Miller. “People have asked about it.”
Educated at the Yale School of Architecture, Nelson was an architect and a writer before being named Herman Miller’s director of design in 1947 – despite his lack of experience in furniture design.
He would hold that position until 1972, forever changing the way that Americans lived and worked. “His background as an architect informs us on how he thinks about furniture design and how it fits into modern homes,” she says.
He set a new course for the company as well. “Herman Miller originally designed antique reproduction furniture, and then with Gilbert Rohde’s modern designs, people went from big Victorian houses to the 1930s and ’40s, when they needed a simpler design for a modern life in smaller living spaces,” she says.
But the Deco and Moderne look of Rohde’s designs would give way to a much more minimalist design from Nelson.
“It’s pared down – not super-decorative, but pared down in a beautiful way,” she says. “It’s clean lines have endured – and are reissued now.”
Just in time to catch that midcentury modern wave.
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