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Herman miller nelson bench feature

Herman Miller’s Nelson Platform is More Than a $2,750 Bench


Industrial designer George Nelson is widely considered the founder of the American modernist movement, which never really went out of style. Some would say it all began with his creation of the Slat Bench aka the Platform Bench in the mid-1940s. Lean and unfettered, the bench arrived just as folks were growing weary of the Colonial Revival, setting new trends by way of its aesthetic qualities, streamlined functionality, and meticulous craftsmanship.

Here we are over seven decades later and the Nelson Platform Bench is still as remarkable as ever, albeit with a lofty price tag to match.

RELATED: These are the best office chairs money can buy right now.

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Herman Miller Nelson Bench | Image: Herman Miller

Working for the furniture company Herman Miller, George Nelson drew upon his background in architecture when crafting the first Platform Bench and its rectilinear lines. The design also reflected his budding philosophy that an object should make an honest visual statement and relay its purpose at first sight. From these clear-sighted principles came not just a place to sit, but an entire design movement that’s still cherished to this day.

With its intelligent construction and close attention to detail, the Nelson Platform Bench remains a truly durable piece of furniture. The arrangement of the wooden slats is more than functional but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye, thanks in part to the clear-coat finish. Everything falls perfectly into place and serves a purpose, which from a design standpoint are words to truly live by.

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Herman Miller Nelson Bench | Image: Herman Miller

Speaking of words to live by, Nelson was once quoted as saying “good design is timeless” and his legacy certainly backs up the claim. The Nelson Platform Bench is arguably exhibit A in a long line of the designer’s enduring creations. Streamlined and stunning on its own, the bench is also stylistically versatile, allowing you to dial up the aesthetics by placing books, plants, pillows, and other adornments on top of it. And so the legend lives on.

Still offered by Herman Miller, the Nelson Platform Bench comes available in three different lengths with a slatted top of solid wood and either a wood or metal base. It’s crafted with sustainability in mind and backed by a limited 12-year warranty, retailing for around AUD$2,750 (approximately $1,798 in US dollars). If you put your savvy Internet skills to the test, however, you can likely score one for a little less. In return, you get a living piece of history that will remain desirable as long as people need a place to sit.

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