Week four of our Why Design series features industrial designer and artist Irving Harper. In addition to creating the logo for Herman Miller, Harper helped produce some of the masterpieces of the mid-century design pantheon, including the Nelson Marshmallow Sofa, designed while he was working for George Nelson & Associates, as well as iconic clock designs for Howard Miller. Take a look at a few pieces from his extensive portfolio in our latest roundup.
1. Nelson Asterisk Clock – Improve your punctuality with the clock modeled after actual punctuation. The Asterisk Clock combines bold symbolism with sleek monochrome style creating the perfect modern timepiece. Find yours at Design Within Reach.
2. “Florence” Prolon Melmac Dinnerware – Add some serious credibility to the current Melmac revival with these vintage serving pieces designed by Harper. Bright and bold, they bring a mod bloom of color to your table. Get the set on Etsy.
3. Pavement Fabrics – The asterisk shows up again in this graphic textile designed by Harper in 1950. Some 60 years later, the design still resonates, inspiring a new generation of modern interior. Find it at J&O Fabrics.
4. Nelson Marshmallow Sofa – Though attributed to Nelson, the piece was also a Harper creation, designed while he was part of the Nelson office. The sofa’s 18 panels were originally meant to be injected plastic discs, but were eventually swapped out for traditional construction and upholstery. Own the one-of-a-kind design from Herman Miller.
5. Pavement Boltabest Serving Tray – With this vintage tray, the asterisk makes one more appearance. The subtle colors and fine-lined graphics are both sophisticated and lighthearted. It’s distinctly modern and still homey, a smart vintage addition to your kitchen. Find it on Etsy.
6. Nelson Ball Clock – Arguably one of the most recognized of Harper’s many timepiece designs created while at George Nelson Associates. Originally produced by Howard Miller, they’re now available at Design Within Reach.
Photos linked within the text.