“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.” – George Nelson
George Nelson, one of the founders of American Modernism, created his furniture, as well as his studio, with the belief that design should be to “better the world”. He challenged the norms of industrial design through innovation and placed his focus on the process of creation. As a result, both Nelson and his design studio, George Nelson Associates Inc, created some of the 20th century’s most memorable modernist furniture – including the Marshmallow Sofa.
Upon first glance, the Marshmallow Sofa seems more like a piece of art than a piece of furniture – and in many ways, it is! Originally designed by Irving Harper, a creator for George Nelson Associates Inc., the Marshmallow Sofa was meant to be a representation of atomic particles, not marshmallows. Since its creation, the sofa’s 18 brightly coloured cushions and simple modernist esthetic have made it an iconic piece. Another interesting feature about the sofa is that six additional cushions can be added between two sofas making it possible to have a never-ending sofa! Not only is this piece visually appealing, it is also very comfortable. Perhaps this is what inspired the name?
Despite its popularity, Herman Miller, the furniture company that the sofa was designed for, only produced a total of 186 Marshmallow Sofas between 1956 and 1961. However, it was later re-issued in the 1980s as part of the Herman Miller Classics Collection and is still available today. So, if you are in the market for a new sofa (or piece of art) be sure to keep the Marshmallow Sofa in mind.