Nelson Bubble Lamps added to Herman Miller Collection

Leading furniture manufacturer Herman Miller has assumed the exclusive rights to the portfolio of iconic and timeless Bubble Lamps designed by George Nelson, which are available throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Nelson Bubble 2

An influential designer of mid-century modernism in America, who also worked closely with Herman Miller on a number of furniture designs, George Nelson came across a set of hanging lamps from Sweden and loved everything about their modern aesthetic. “The Swedish design was done in a silk covering that was very difficult to make; they had to cut gores and sew them onto a wire frame. But I wanted one badly,” Nelson wrote in his book, On Design, published in 1979.

Nelson located the manufacturer of a white plastic spray that was used by the U.S. military after WW2 to “mothball” military warships and airplanes for future use. It was used as temporary protective packaging of engine, machinery, and other articles. Nelson acquired this resinous plastic solution from R.M. Hollingshead Corporation and utilised it in the making of the Nelson Bubble Lamps.

Nelson created the spherical frame with perforated rings that were inserted with steel wires, a construction that retained its shape under tension. It was a method that required minimum tools, and had no welding costs. It was then sprayed with the resinous lacquer to form a fibrous web, and a final coat of plastic was applied, creating a smooth, translucent skin.

Favoured by interior designers working on commercial, residential or hospitality projects, the lamps are typically hung in dramatic clusters to bring impact and make a statement in any space, while casting a soft and consistent light.

The Nelson Bubble Lamps have been added to the Herman Miller Collection, which was established by George Nelson in 1948, and showcases timeless pieces from the Herman Miller archive as well as new furniture from today’s most talented designers. The lamps are available in a range of styles and sizes including Ball, Pear, Saucer, Cigar and Propeller pendants. For more information and the full offering, visit


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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