‘Coconut’ chair by George Nelson

Made by Herman Miller Inc in Zeeland, Ottawa county, Michigan, United States, North and Central America, 1955-1964.

The ‘Coconut’ chair, made of enamelled sheet steel, steel rod, polyurethane foam and wool fabric, was designed in the USA by George Nelson in 1955 and made in America by Herman Miller Inc between 1955 and 1964. The use of mouldable materials in the 1950s made possible an unlimited range of shapes and styles ? many of them with a humorous twist like this one.


Object No.


Physical Description

Diamond shaped easy chair moulded to represent one eigth of a coconut shell. Grey green wool fabric covering, with foam underneath, held onto white metal sheet frame by tie cord tightened with a tension screw and clips at each corner. three chrome plated legs screwed to frame from inside held together by angled stretchers and ending in slightly thickened feet.



820 mm


1000 mm


860 mm



Designed by George Nelson (1908-1986) in 1955 and made by Herman Miller from 1955-1965, the 'Coconut' chair is an enduring classic of modern American furniture. The 'Coconut' has been back in production since 1988.

George Nelson said he developed the chair 'to give lounge seating comfort, together with great freedom of movement.' With its shallow sides and inviting curves, the chair is 'designed to let you sit in any position and move with surprising, and relaxing, ease'.

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 1955-1964


Nelson, George 1955


Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

1 April 1985

Cite this Object


'Coconut' chair by George Nelson 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 October 2018, <https://ma.as/47846>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/47846 |title='Coconut' 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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