‘DAF’ chair by George Nelson

Made by Herman Miller Inc in Zeeland, Ottawa county, Michigan, United States, North and Central America, 1958-1964.

The ‘DAF’ chair, made of fibreglass reinforced polyester and chromium plated steel with rubber shock mounts, was designed in the USA by George Nelson and made in 1958 by Herman Miller Inc of Zeeland, Michigan. The DAF was a development of the Eames plastic chair. It was designed to be mass produced in pieces for easy shipping and assembly. George Nelson was an influential designer best known for his work as design director for the furniture company Herman Miller.


Object No.


Physical Description

Chair 'DAF' (dining armchair fibreglass) of white fibreglass reinforced polyester moulded in two parts, the eliptical shaped back and broad flat armrests in one piece resting on separate v-shaped seat supported on four tapered chrome plated metal legs splayed from centre on rubber shock mounts.



790 mm


730 mm


490 mm



Designed by George Nelson [1908-1986] in 1958 and made by Herman Miller 1958-1964. The 'DAF' chair was put back into production in 2006.

The DAF chair is one the 'Swaged Leg Group', which included a range of chairs, tables and desks. Nelson started with the idea: "Wouldn't it be beautiful to have some kind of sculptured leg on a piece of furniture?" How could that be done without wood and hand-carving tools? Using pressure to taper and curve a metal tube (a process called swaging) proved a success. In order to reduce production costs, all four legs of a chair or table were shaped in the same way. Separate pieces of moulded plastic were used for the seat and back and glued together, so that the swag leg chair could flex with the sitter. A slit between the seat and back helped prevent heat buildup and wide, flat arms provide a comfortable place to rest forearms.

George Nelson was one of the most influential figures in American design during the second half of the twentieth century. Nelson was not only a leading designer and notable architect, but also a prominent author, editor, lecturer, exhibition designer, and a passionate photographer. Nelson and his studio created many classics of modern furniture and interior design including the Coconut Chair (1955), the Marshmallow Sofa (1956), the Ball Clock (1947), Bubble Lamps (starting in 1952) and Action Office (1964).

As an architect, designer and writer, Nelson was deeply interested in the topics of domestic living and interior furnishings. He was a pioneering planner and designer of the modern single family home during the 1940s and '50s. As design director of Herman Miller, Nelson had a major influence on the product line and public image of the company for over two decades and collaborated with many of the iconic designers of the era from Charles and Ray Eames to Alexander Girard.


Herman Miller Inc 1958-1964


Nelson, George 1958


Credit Line

Gift of Michael Oberman, 1983

Acquisition Date

5 August 1983

Cite this Object


'DAF' chair by George Nelson 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 October 2018, <https://ma.as/203602>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/203602 |title='DAF' chair by George Nelson |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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