Martha Graham performing with set by Isamu Noguchi, a soaring cathedral made from reflective brass...
Isamu Noguchi, Cathedral Set Design for Martha Graham’s Seraphic Dialogue, 1955. The Noguchi Museum Archives, 06757. ©INFGM / ARS
Online, Talk

Archives Deep Dive: How Noguchi Used Architecture

Thursday, December 17, 2020
1 pm–2 pm

Naomi Frangos, independent architect and educator, will present a talk exploring Isamu Noguchi’s cross-disciplinary practice with special attention to the theoretical and functional implications of his work through the lens of architecture.

Frangos was a co-curator of the 2019–20 exhibition In Search of Contoured Playground at The Noguchi Museum, and in 2020 led a seminar at Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture, and Planning (AAP) on identifying Noguchi’s ideological concerns by uncovering thematic threads across the various categories of his built and unbuilt works, and used to re-imagine his models for unrealized proposals. The results of this course are documented in the digital feature Curating Model Behavior.

Frangos will share the lessons learned through her long-term engagement with Noguchi’s work, reflecting on how Noguchi used architecture, and the continued pedagogical and philosophical relevance of his practice in our contemporary moment.

The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes, with time afterwards for questions and comments. Live closed captioning is provided. Program times listed are EST (Eastern Standard Time). Please send any questions to

Naomi Frangos is an architect, artist, and educator. Her creative work has been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in various magazines and journals in the US and Canada, including ARCHITECT, Canadian Architect, Wallpaper, CURBED, Architect’s Newspaper, Ceramics: Art and Perception, and Journal of Architectural Education. She was awarded a Design History Society grant for her co-curated exhibition In Search of Contoured Playground at The Noguchi Museum, and her design work for Montreal’s new dance complex, Wilder Espace Danse, earned a nomination for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize. This past year, she was Visiting Associate Professor at Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture and Planning (AAP) and has previously taught graduate and undergraduate design studios and seminars at numerous institutions. Naomi holds a Masters in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University and a professional trade degree in welding and metalworking.

This talk has been made possible through major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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