LifeEdited Circa 1945: George Nelson's Storage Wall for Life Magazine

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life magazine george nelson wall photo

Image photographed at Herman Miller Archives

In the recent LifeEdited competition to design a small apartment, many of the entries (including the winner) involved carefully designed storage wall systems to create a minimalist look while storing everything from bikes to kites. Even when editing his life, TreeHugger founder Graham Hill still had lots of stuff.

In fact, this was a problem for people even in 1945, when LIFE magazine commissioned George Nelson to design a wall storage system. It made such a splash that it got him his job at Herman Miller.

life magazine george nelson wall photo

According to LIFE,

In even the newest homes, closets are often badly planned afterthoughts. The average closet is really suitable only for hanging clothes. Other things are always put high out of reach on a shelf or in Stygian darkness on the floor. The large-sized closets are often too deep. Half of their contents must be plowed through to reach the things piled in the back.

Other than the use of the word Stygian, that could have been written yesterday.

Attacking these difficulties, Architects George Nelson and Henry Write concluded that most family paraphernalia could be best kept in a space 12 inches deep. With this in mind they designed the storage wall, a device planned for keeping household articles neatly and conveniently in the otherwise wasted hollow space within a wall.

You can read the whole article at Life Magazine in Google Books.

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