Nelson Bubble Pendants

design George Nelson, 1947

In conjunction with HAY’s partnership with Herman Miller, HAY will be the European distributor of iconic George Nelson’s Bubble Lamp, first produced in the 1950s.

Designed by pioneering American designer George Nelson in 1947, and first produced in 1952, the Bubble lamp signaled a revolution in the Modernist lighting industry. Available in an assortment of organic sizes and shapes, these elegant orbs were inspired by a set of silk-covered Swedish pendant lamps Nelson wanted for his office, but found to be too expensive. Employing the resourcefulness that characterized his working process,

he decided to use a self-webbing plastic spray developed by the U.S. military, and applied it over a lightweight, rounded-steel frame to produce these soft, glowing fixtures.

George Nelson : “It was important to me to have certain status symbols around, and one of the symbols was a spherical hanging lamp made in Sweden. It had a silk covering that was very difficult to make.... But I wanted one badly. Suddenly an image popped into my mind.... It was a picture in the NYT some weeks before which showed Liberty ships being mothballed by having the decks covered with netting and then being sprayed with a self-webbing plastic.... Whammo! We rushed back to the office and made a roughly spherical frame; we called various places until we located the manufacturer of the spiderwebby frame. By the next night we had a plastic-covered lamp and when you

put a light in it, it glowed and it did not cost $125.”

All Bubble Lamp models are produced in the same American factory that originally developed them in the 1950s. 

Light source 1 x E27, bulb not included

Cord 183 cm with metal canopy

Nelson Ball Bubble

Ø32,5 x H30,5 cm
Ø48,5 x H39,5 cm

Ø68 x H59,5 cm
from 594 € 

Nelson Ball Crisscross Bubble

Ø32,5 x H30,5 cm
Ø48,5 x H39,5 cm
from 649 € 

Nelson Saucer Bubble

Ø44,5 x H18 cm
Ø63,5 x H25,5 cm

Ø89 x H33,5 cm
from 594 € 

Nelson Saucer Crisscross Bubble

Ø44,5 x H19 cm
Ø63,5 x H24 cm
from  649 € 

Nelson Cigar Bubble

Ø26,5 x H35,5 cm
Ø33 x H53 cm

Ø38 x H84 cm
from 594 € 

Nelson Cigar Crisscross Bubble

Ø26,5 x H35,5 cm
Ø33 x H53,5 cm
from 649 €

Nelson Pear Bubble

Ø33 x H32 cm
Ø43 x H48 cm
from 646 € 

Nelson Pear Crisscross Bubble

Ø33 x H32 cm
Ø43 x H48,5 cm
from 718 € 

Nelson Apple Bubble

Ø53,5 x H37 cm
695 € 

Nelson Propeller Bubble

Ø52 x H38 cm
757 € 

Nelson Lantern Bubble

Ø28 x H26,5 cm
586 € 

fixture for triple pendant arrangement
448 € 

George Nelson

Born in Connecticut, USA, George Nelson (1908-1986) was one of the most influential figures in the crucial early period of modern design. Trained at Yale as an architect and a fine artist, he believed that a designer’s job was to better the world, using the perfection of nature’s creations as his guide. Two formative years in Rome following his receipt of the prestigious Rome Prize brought him into contact with the world’s leading modernists, including Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Gio Ponti, and many others, and helped shape his career as a writer and industrial designer, who would change the course of history.

Nelson worked with Herman Miller for over 25 years, overseeing the company’s collaborations with Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Richard Schultz, Isamu Noguchi, and Donald Knorr. His iconic designs include the Marshmallow Sofa, the Ball Clock and the Coconut Chair, as well as the Bubble Lamp.