Isamu Noguchi – Designer Spotlight

February 8, 2006

Isamu Noguchi - Designer SpotlightIsamu Noguchi (1904-1988), a Japanese American artist known for expanding the traditional notion of sculpture to include furniture along with monuments and memorials, dance sets, gardens, playgrounds and fountains. Embracing traditional Japanese forms for design, Noguchi expressed his heritage in his works bringing modern design to the home with an organic feel. Take for example, his Akari light “sculptures”. In the 1940s, Noguchi started to develop these seemingly weightless illuminated sculptures in abstract shapes, fusing together the simplicity of Japanese aesthetics with contemporary design.

Have you ever visited the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York?

His original lamps, in production now for over fifty years, are as timeless as your blue jeans, they’ll forever fit your modern space. His furniture is beautiful, too. I’m sure you’ll find a lot of items on the Noguchi store website that appeal to you. If you’re on a budget, allow the shapes to inspire you – maybe you can find something in the Noguchi style at more affordable prices elsewhere. Enjoy!

some of his beautiful lighting

Isamu Noguchi - Designer Spotlight

my favorite, his prismatic table in white (also in black) $325

Isamu Noguchi - Designer Spotlight


  • Reply Vajra February 9, 2006 at 3:08 am

    Although I’m a huge fan of modernism I don’t really have a modern style in my home but I do have several Noguchi lamp knock-offs which go beautifully with my collection of Native American and Latin American art. I think that good design merges with its setting in a seamless way. In fact, the crumpled paper lifts the mood of what could otherwise be too somber and heavy, I saw the rooms that Nate Berkus designed for the Latino parents of a TV actress. I think Berkus, whose work I generally admire, was actually uncomfortable in that vernacular and succeeded in designing a clich?: too heavy, too red, too many “signs” that read Latino. In fact, if you were to go into the homes of Latinos from Los Angeles to Santiago you would find a variety of styles, often zen in their austerity. Also they would be very reflective of the era in which the owner live/d. Definitely not a standarized template.

    Thus, Noguchi’s work would fit in as easily as a Barcelona chair.

  • Reply decor8 February 9, 2006 at 3:47 am

    Nicely stated. I appreciate that you brought this to our attention, as I’m always interested in what readers think of things that I post. I haven’t seen the room you described by Nate – but I agree, sometimes people figure all Latinos love red and Frida paintings all over their walls. My friend is mexican and his home is so uber posh you’d think he was from berlin vs. mexico city.

    Thank you for your comments. I hope you return and offer more insights – especially cultural ones – very interested in hearing more!


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