George Nelson often collaborated with other designers, and in the case of the Ball Clock (1948), Nelson was at a dinner party with Isamu Noguchi, Irving Harper and Bucky Fuller. As the story goes, they were all sketching and "we'd had a little bit too much to drink," said Nelson. In the morning, they saw a drawing of the Ball Clock on a roll of drafting paper. "I don¹t know to this day who cooked it up," said Nelson. "I know it wasn't me. It might have been Irving, but he didn¹t think so. [We] both guessed that Isamu had probably done it because [he] has a genius for doing two stupid things and making something extraordinary out of the combination. It could have been an additive thing, but we never knew."
A little information about the man behind the Clock:
American George Nelson was an architect-designer, editor, writer, and teacher. He is probably most well known for furniture, industrial, exhibition, and urban design, including the Storagewall concept and the Sling sofa. Long associated with the Herman Miller company, his basic principles espoused honesty and integrity of design and a faith in the market for good design.
"There have been proposals to 'improve' design by converting into a kind of science. Those with even a smattering of recent history will remember that the same attempts were made in psychology and sociology. I suspect that such efforts are not o much an attempt to improve, but rather to get a free ride on the enormous prestige science enjoys. Design is not science and it never will be."
"What is the crowning glory of your civilization... the symbol as clear a statement as the pyramids, the Parthenon, the cathedrals? What is this symbol? What is its name? Its name is Junk. Junk is the rusty, lovely, brilliant symbol of the dying years of your time. Junk is your ultimate landscape."
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