PLC Rooms level 2
500 Harris Street
Ultimo Sydney


6, 7, 13, 14 August 10am – 1.00pm


Student: $15, materials and museum entry included


Schools Bookings Offfice
9217 0222

George Nelson Student Design Workshops


The Powerhouse Museum

Coconut Chairs and ottoman, 1956 Photo: Vitra Design Museum Archive
Coconut Chairs and ottoman, 1956 Photo: Vitra Design Museum Archive

In this fun hands-on design workshop students will learn about George Nelson’s design process then produce their own Coconut Chair prototype.

Part 1. Design concepts and theory

In the first stage of the workshop students are introduced to George Nelson’s design process and conceptual thinking, they will explore the concept of modular design  and learn how industrial design is characterised by cross-fertilisation of various disciplines and the important role of designers to place design in the larger sociocultural and economic context.

Students learn about the extensive range of disciplines that George Nelson worked across such as industrial design, graphic design, architecture and exhibition design as well as in writing and design education.

Visiting the exhibition students see first-hand the prolific range of objects that he designed from furniture and clocks to lamps and systems such as storage and office workstations. The importance of collaboration within design is highlighted through the exploration of Nelson’s relationship with furniture manufacturer Herman Miller and the Howard Miller Clock Company

Part 2. Design solutions

The second stage of the workshop will see the students applying their new insights into the design process of George Nelson as they undertake a design challenge is to develop prototypes for his Coconut Chair. They are introduced to some simple material manipulation, basic sculptural techniques and creative thinking regarding three-dimensional objects.They will utilise a geometric shape or food as inspiration to create a chair of their own design.

Duration: 3 hours including exhibition visit.                                                    Places per session: 15 minimum, 30 maximum per session.

Curriculum links: Stages 5–6 Technology Mandatory and Design and Technology

4.1.1, 4.2.1, 4.3.1, 4.5.1, 4.6.3/ 5.1.1, 5.2.1, 5.3.1, 5.5.1, 5.6.3/ P1.1, P2.1, P2.2, P3.1, P5.2/ H1.1, H1.2, H2.1, H2.1, H3.2, H5.2


Image caption: Coconut Chairs and ottoman, 1956 Photo: Vitra Design Museum Archive

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