When writing about the course of his remarkable 50-year career, George Nelson described a series of creative "zaps" — moments of out-of-the-blue inspiration "when the solitary individual finds he is connected with a reality he never dreamed of."
Nelson said that for a designer to deal creatively with human needs, "he must first make a radical, conscious break with all values he identifies as anti-human." Designers also must constantly be aware of the consequences of their actions on people and society. In fact, he declared that "total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything." So he said that rather than specializing, designers must cultivate a broad base of knowledge and understanding.
Nelson did so as few are able, and, with the help of well-timed zaps, he helped define modern, humane design.