Nelson Marshmallow Sofa 1956 (designed by Irving Harper)


George Nelson and Irving Harper, a young designer working in Nelson’s design firm, were approached by an inventor who had created an injection plastic disc that he insisted could be produced inexpensively and would be durable. The designers took a look and arranged 18 of them on a steel frame …

George Nelson and Irving Harper, a young designer working in Nelson’s design firm, were approached by an inventor who had created an injection plastic disc that he insisted could be produced inexpensively and would be durable. The designers took a look and arranged 18 of them on a steel frame – the origin of the Marshmallow sofa. The inventor’s cushions turned out to be impractical, but Nelson and Harper were intrigued by the design they had created so casually, and Herman Miller decided to manufacture the sofa. Its design comprises 18 round, comfortable cushions that seem to float on the brushed tubular steel frame. The sofa’s unique appearance and eye-catching appeal led the way into the pop art style of the 60´s.
Herman Miller only made 200 of the original Marshmallow Sofa’s, each of the 18 Marshmallow circles had to be made by hand…a very time consuming and therefore expensive process. The Sofa was reintroduced by Herman Miller after a 34-year hiatus in 1999.

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