Nelson Platform Bench - 48"
A landmark of modern design, the bench has the clean, rectilinear lines that reflect designer George Nelson’s architectural background and his insistence on what he called “honest” design—making an honest visual statement about an object’s purpose. Solid wood slats are spaced to let air and light through, sealed with a clear-coat finish, and finger-jointed for superior strength, all of which make the bench ideal for offices, public areas, and homes.
The platform bench was part of Nelson’s first collection for Herman Miller and was reintroduced in 1994. As presented in the 1948 Herman Miller furniture catalog, the platform bench “is primarily a high base for deep and shallow cases, but it also serves as a low table for extra seating.” The 1955 catalog states that the bench “has proved to be one of the most flexible and useful units in the collection.”
Expanded Style and Size Options
- Wooden slatted top available in Natural Maple or Walnut
- Base available in a framed ebonized wood or slender, trivalent chrome legs
- Glides ship with metal base, while wood ships with rubber bumpers
- Cushion for bench is available separately, but not included
- Overall: 48" w x 18.5" d x 14" h
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
For any custom options below, call or chat with a product specialist to build.
Slatted Wood Color
- Natural Maple
- Ebonized Wood
- Trivalent Chrome
Bench Cushion - Custom
- 24 inch length
- 36 inch length
- Various Herman Miller Fabrics
PRODUCT DESIGN STORY
George Nelson was a noted teacher and writer, as well as a designer. He studied architecture in Rome and became an editor of Architectural Forum while continuing to design furniture, based on the modern European designs with which he had become familiar.
His association with Herman Miller began when our founder, D.J. De Pree, saw an article in Life magazine about Nelson’s Storagewall, the first modular storage system and a forerunner of systems furniture. De Pree was so impressed that he went to New York to meet with Nelson and convinced him to be his director of design.
When writing about the course of his remarkable 50-year career, George Nelson described a series of creative “zaps”—moments of out-of-the-blue inspiration “when the solitary individual finds he is connected with a reality he never dreamed of.”
An early zap came in the 1930s, when he was an architectural student in Rome. Before returning home, an idea struck him: He would travel Europe and interview leading modern architects, hoping to get the articles published in the U.S. He succeeded, and in the process introduced the U.S. design community to the European avant-garde. This set in motion a sequence of what he called “lucky”career breaks that were really the inevitable outcomes of his brilliance as a designer, teacher, and author.
The first break was being named an editor of Architectural Forum magazine. Working on a story there in 1942, he was looking at aerial photos of blighted cities when—zap!—he developed the concept of the downtown pedestrian mall, which was unveiled in the Saturday Evening Post.
Soon after, another zap led to the Storagewall, the first modular storage system and a forerunner of systems furniture. The Storagewall was showcased in a 1945 Lifemagazine article, causing a sensation in the furniture industry. Herman Miller founder D.J. De Pree saw the article and was so impressed that he paid a visit to Nelson in New York and convinced him to be his director of design, which spurred Nelson to found his design firm, George Nelson & Associates. The warm, personal, and professional relationship between Nelson and De Pree yielded a stunning range of products, from the playful Marshmallow Sofa to the first L-shaped desk, a precursor of today’s workstation.
Nelson once wrote that Herman Miller “is not playing follow-the-leader.” That’s one reason why George Nelson & Associates worked with Herman Miller for over 25 years as they shepherded design into the modern era.
During this same period, George Nelson & Associates also created many landmark designs of products, showrooms, and exhibitions for a variety of companies and organizations.
Nelson said that for a designer to deal creatively with human needs, “he must first make a radical, conscious break with all values he identifies as antihuman.” Designers also must constantly be aware of the consequences of their actions on people and society. In fact, he declared that “total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything.” So he said that rather than specializing, designers must cultivate a broad base of knowledge and understanding.
Nelson did so as few are able, and, with the help of well-timed zaps, he helped define modern, humane design.
OFFICIAL HERMAN MILLER RETAILER
We're an authorized Herman Miller retailer. This means we're official. We sell new factory-direct items complete with Herman Miller's own warranty. You can purchase confidently from Office Designs knowing you'll be receiving genuine Herman Miller product.
Herman Miller® is a pioneer in the furniture industry, an innovator whose human-centered, problem-solving approach to design has introduced new ways of living and working for over 100 years. Environmentally-friendly design, lean manufacturing, ergonomics, the open office, even American modernism itself: Herman Miller and our designers have had a hand in shaping it all. In the spirit of our founder, D.J. De Pree, who established a willingness to abandon ourselves creatively to the influence of others, we’ve partnered with the world’s leading designers for generations—from midcentury icons George Nelson, Charles and Ray Eames, and Alexander Girard to Michael Anastassiades, Scholten & Baijings, Yves Béhar, and more of today’s leading design minds. Our work with them continues to explore design as a method of change, and the enriching value authenticity brings to our lives. Together, we’re shaping the new kinds of spaces where people will live and work for years to come.
Chrome base is made from steel rods.