Benefit 2018


2018 Spring Benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Celebrating the Isamu Noguchi Award to be presented to
industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and landscape designer Edwina von Gal

Honorary Chair
Ambassador Koro Bessho
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

Benefit Co-chairs
Andrew Fisher
Phyllis Lally Seevers

About The Noguchi Museum Spring Benefit
Each May The Noguchi Museum hosts its annual benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award presentation. The evening begins with cocktails and the award ceremony in the Museum’s celebrated sculpture garden, followed by a seated dinner and a silent auction in the galleries. Proceeds from the evening support the Museum, its collection, exhibitions, and programs.

About the Isamu Noguchi Award
Launched at The Noguchi Museum’s 2014 Spring Benefit, the Isamu Noguchi Award was established to honor the tenets that Noguchi expressed in his life’s work and to acknowledge other like-minded, highly accomplished individuals who reflect similar ideals in their own times. The Award thus celebrates innovation, global awareness, and Eastern and Western exchange.


Tickets may also be purchased by downloading the Spring Benefit Committee Form, or by contacting Melissa Gatz at or 718.204.7088 extension 229.

About the Honorees

Naoto Fukasawa


Known for designs that are at once simple and poetic, Tokyo-based Naoto Fukasawa has designed a variety of objects, ranging from precision electronic equipment to furniture, interior spaces, and more. A graduate of Tama Art University, in 1989 Fukasawa moved to the United States, where he was impressed by Isamu Noguchi’s forms and began his own creative pursuits based on the concept of ‘hari,’ or ‘well balanced tension.’ In 1996, he returned to Japan to head the Tokyo office of the American company IDEO, and in 2003 he established Naoto Fukasawa Design. Fukasawa’s wall-mounted CD player created for Muji, humidifier for Plus Minus Zero, and the mobile phones Infobar and neon for au by KDDI are all in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Fukasawa is a director of 21_21 Design Sight, a creative advisor for Muji, and art director for Maruni Wood Industry. Additionally, he works with Geiger and Herman Miller in the U.S., collaborates with leading European brands, and consults with major Japanese corporations. In 2007, he was accorded the title of Honorary Royal Designer for Industry (awarded by the Royal Society of Arts). He has sat on many design panels, including as chairman of the Good Design Award from 2010–2014, and was a judge for the Braun Prize (2012). He is a professor in the Integrated Design department at Tama Art University, and director of The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo.

Edwina von Gal


Edwina von Gal has been principal of her eponymous U.S.-based landscape design firm since 1984, creating landscapes with a focus on simplicity and sustainability. She has collaborated with architects including Frank Gehry, Richard Gluckman, Annabelle Selldorf, Maya Lin, and Richard Meier, on projects for numerous people in the design and art community, among others. Von Gal’s work has been published widely and her book “Fresh Cuts” won the Quill and Trowel award for garden writing. In 2008, she founded the Azuero Earth Project, promoting reforestation on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula. In 2013, she created the nonprofit Perfect Earth Project, dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers to people, pets, and the planet of toxic lawn and garden chemicals.

Von Gal received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Arthur Ross Award in 2012, and was the 2017 recipient of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts. In addition to the Isamu Noguchi Award, von Gal will receive the NY School of Interior Design’s Green Design Award in 2018.

Previous Honorees

Lord Norman Foster
Hiroshi Sugimoto

Jasper Morrison
Yoshio Taniguchi

Tadao Ando
Elyn Zimmerman

John Pawson
Hiroshi Senju

Images, from top: Invitation design by Yeju Choi. Noguchi Museum garden; photo by Nilaya Sabnis. Naoto Fukasawa; photo courtesy of Naoto Fukasawa Design. Edwina von Gal; photo by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

Thank you to everyone who made our 2017 Benefit great!