George Nelson, born 1908 in Hartford, Connecticut (USA), studied architecture at Yale University. A fellowship enabled him to study at the American Academy in Rome from 1932 to 1934. In Europe, he became acquainted with the major architectural works and leading protagonists of modernism.
In 1957, Vitra founder Willi Fehlbaum signed his first licence agreement with Herman Miller to produce furniture for the European market. During the ensuing decades of the collaboration with Vitra, a close friendship evolved between George Nelson and Rolf Fehlbaum, who later said about Nelson: 'No other prominent designer spoke as intelligently or wrote as coherently about design'. Nelson expressed his thoughts on design topics in numerous articles and eleven books;