An assortment of lights in various spherical silhouettes, the Nelson Bubble Lamps adds a touch of softness and luminosity to interiors. Designed by George Nelson in 1952, these elegant fixtures are fashioned from a sturdy, lightweight steel frame yet have a delicate, floating quality, whether in ceiling-hung, floor, table, or wall-mounted variations.
Nelson was inspired by a set of silk-covered Swedish hanging lamps that he wanted to acquire for his office, but he found the price to be prohibitive. An ingenious and resourceful designer, he went on to create the first set of Nelson Bubble Lamps using a translucent white plastic spray, a technique developed by the U.S. military at the time. Nelson drew from elemental, organic shapes in making variations like the Apple Bubble Pendant, the Pear Wall Sconce, the Lotus Table Lamp, and the Saucer Pendant Lamp, among others.
When writing about the course of his remarkable 50-year career, George Nelson described a series of creative "zaps"—moments of out-of-the-blue inspiration "when the solitary individual finds he is connected with a reality he never dreamed of."
An early zap came in the 1930s, when he was an architectural student in Rome. Before returning home, an idea struck him: He would travel Europe and interview leading modern architects, hoping to get the articles published in the U.S. He succeeded, and in the process introduced the U.S. design community to the European avant-garde. This set in motion a sequence of what he called "lucky" career breaks that were really the inevitable outcomes of his brilliance as a designer, teacher, and author.
The first break was being named an editor of Architectural Forum magazine. Working on a story there in 1942, he was looking at aerial photos of blighted cities when—zap!—he developed the concept of the downtown pedestrian mall, which was unveiled in the Saturday Evening Post.
Soon after, another zap led to the Storagewall, the first modular storage system and a forerunner of systems furniture. The Storagewall was showcased in a 1945 Life magazine article, causing a sensation in the furniture industry. Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree saw the article and was so impressed that he paid a visit to Nelson in New York and convinced him to be his director of design, which spurred Nelson to found his design firm, George Nelson & Associates. The warm, personal, and professional relationship between Nelson and De Pree yielded a stunning range of products, from the playful Marshmallow Sofa to the first L-shaped desk, a precursor of today's workstation.
Nelson once wrote that Herman Miller "is not playing follow-the-leader." That's one reason why George Nelson & Associates worked with Herman Miller for over 25 years as they shepherded design into the modern era.
During this same period, George Nelson & Associates also created many landmark designs of products, showrooms, and exhibitions for a variety of companies and organizations.
Nelson said that for a designer to deal creatively with human needs, "he must first make a radical, conscious break with all values he identifies as antihuman." Designers also must constantly be aware of the consequences of their actions on people and society. In fact, he declared that "total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything." So he said that rather than specializing, designers must cultivate a broad base of knowledge and understanding.
Nelson did so as few are able, and, with the help of well-timed zaps, he helped define modern, humane design.
The Inform Interiors’ website, shop.informinteriors.com, offers a selection of our favourite pieces that are in stock, and also that are available for order. If you do not see the option or item that you are looking for here please contact us.
If you would like to browse almost every available product that we have available in our collection, head over to our Product Search page. Additionally, we have a comprehensive list of our suppliers found on our Manufacturers page.
PoliciesPurchased items are available for pickup, local delivery, or shipping. Upon completing your purchase, you will have the option to select Local Pickup or Shipping at checkout.
All orders over $100 that are considered a small or medium parcel will receive free domestic shipping. This condition may not apply to sale items.
Clients who select the ‘Local Pickup’ option will be contacted within 2 business days with confirmation of when and where their items will be available for pickup.
Clients who select the ‘Shipping’ option will be contacted within 2 business days to coordinate details and cost.
For full delivery and shipping details click HERE.
Regular-priced items are eligible for exchanges for up to 30 days after the purchase date. Promotional and Sale items are final sales. More details HERE.
Inform Interiors associates are more than just “salespeople”. We are a team of passionate, knowledgeable, professionals, well-versed in interior design and architecture. We would be more than happy to assist you with space planning, furniture selections, and interiors storytelling. More information on our range of services can be found HERE.