Wes of Delegator.com reviews one of George Nelson's most famous creations — the Swag Leg Chair.
Transcript Hi, and welcome to the video review of the Nelson Swag Leg Chair from Herman Miller. I'm Wes from Delegator.com and this is an independent video review commissioned by SmartFurniture.com. In this video review, we'll talk about the Swag Leg Chair from several different angles, including the designer, George Nelson, the style of the chair, and the innovations it brought to the furniture industry. We hope you enjoy this review.
This part of the video review is about the designer of the Swag Leg Chair, George Nelson. George Nelson was the Director of Design at Herman Miller for a long time and while he was there, he made a lot of brilliant furniture, including this chair, the Swag Leg Chair. To go with this chair, he also made tables, a chair, and a workbench. They all use that same swag leg technique that you see at the bottom. He was also influenced by Charles and Ray Eames because he actually signed them to Herman Miller way back in 1946, when they were first coming out the with LCW Chair. So, his contributions to design are not only his own designs. He also brought some of the great designers of the twentieth century into Herman Miller and really built their brand. He also built the very first storage wall. He built the very first downtown pedestrian mall in an urban area. His contributions to design are really, really important. In any discussion of the top five designers of the twentieth century, George Nelson's name would be among them.
This part of the video review deals with the style of the Nelson Swag Leg Chair, which as you can see is very classic, very curvy, and a little bit modern. It has a lot in common with the Eames Molded Plastic Chair and that is not by coincidence. Both of those designers were working at Herman Miller and they were very good friends. Charles and Ray Eames actually gave George Nelson permission to use sort of the look of their chair, but he did change it in significant ways. He added the hinge point right here and he sort of cut out the back to leave this space, which not only looks great, but it also keeps you a little more cool than the regular Eames chair does. Of course, one of the most important things when it comes to the stylization of this chair is the swag leg that you can see right here. That is a tapered metal leg. Now, swagging was an industrial process that wasn't really used in furniture until George Nelson came along. When he looked at it, he said I can use that process to make sort of a long, beautiful sculpted leg that is going to look great and not cost too much, and sort of bring design into the American home. He made a whole series of furniture, not just the chair. He also made a desk, a work table, and a couple of different dining tables. They all look great. They all have that really sort of beautiful swag leg that sort of tapers down into a point at the end. You don’t have to get it in white. You can get it a bunch of different colors, and the same goes for this top. You can get it in a bunch of different colors at Smart Furniture. They all look great. They are sort of this very classic, elegant look and they have really stood the test of time for the last 50 years.
This part of the video deals with innovations in this chair and how it sort of moved furniture forward a little bit. One of the most important innovations is one I can show you right now. When you lean back in this chair, it actually moves and makes you a little more comfortable and you actually get a recline in it. That's because there is a hinge point right here, which is something that Charles and Ray Eames didn't think about when they made their molded plastic chairs. So, this chair sort of borrows the look of the molded plastic chairs, but it actually makes them a lot better by adding that hinge point, making you more comfortable, allowing you to recline. They also create this space in the back of the chair, this sort of hole. That lets air pass through and that keeps you cool. You are not going to have a lot of heat build-up the way you would with the normal molded plastic chair. Of course, the major innovation on this chair is the swag leg. No one had really used that process to make furniture before George Nelson thought of it. He was a very idiosyncratic man. He had a lot of sort of interesting and off-the-wall ideas. He was in a meeting at Herman Miller and he said wouldn't it be great if we could do this very polished finished leg, a metal leg. Of course, the answer was yes, but no one knew how to do it cheaply. Swagging was the way to do it. You take these tubes of metal and you sort of taper them and mold them and sculpt them under high pressure. That's where this chair gets its name, the Swag Leg Chair. It's one of the most innovative chairs ever to come out. It came out in the 50s and even now it still looks great and is still impressive. It is still a great chair.
We hope you enjoyed this video review by Delegator.com. This product is available at Smart Furniture. If you have any questions, call 888-467-6278 or go online at SmartFurniture.com. Thanks for watching.