- Isamu Noguchi
- Akari & Shop
Each spring, the MFA Graduate Foundations Design Studio course at Pratt Institute, Interior Design, asks students to draw inspiration from Isamu Noguchi’s work.
This year, in response to the global pandemic, students considered our relationship to confinement. What is no longer possible and what is newly possible? Their project called for the design of a space within which one may remotely view and “visit” Noguchi’s art as an individual while remaining physically distanced from the work and other viewers. The focus was on how we as designers [re]define physicality and implement community, fostering a dialogue between the institution and its unique and dynamic current global neighborhood.
Aubrey Ament, Omar Aqeel, Young Ji Byun, Zhuoshan Cai, Stephanie Farinhas, Alana Fried, Kaelee Helms, Jin Jung, Zhen Li, Juan Lin, Zeyu Liu, Jiayan Ni, Ga Young Park, Yauheniya Pryshchepnaya, Dylan Roberts, Wei Han Teng, Pravallika Thirumalasetty, Wen Ching Ting, Yizhe Wang, Laura Wu-Ohlson, Yang Zhenlong, Chen Zhong
Sheryl Kasak, Tetsu Ohara
This project is inspired by Noguchi’s sculpture Another Land, 1968. A system of waves was derived and abstracted to create a space for one person to view Noguchi’s artworks virtually during COVID-19.
The entire space acts as a container, the viewer is navigated by waves, which are represented by stairs, handrails, ceiling, and a partition.
As the viewer moves through the space experiencing different eye levels and has interactions with waves, he/she also becomes a part of them.
Faculty: Sheryl Kasak
This project is oriented to create a viewing room for one or two people to access the Noguchi Museum remotely during the current pandemic.
The resulting analysis of the Noguchi sculpture Composition for Arrivals Building, Idlewild Airport (1956) acts as a catalyst, a conceptual driver for the project. An amorphic form with sharp edges as a spatial strategy is proposed which creates a oneness continuous form for guiding visitors. Indentation within indentation creates a monumental, monolithic carved out space which makes visitors feel the space itself become a sculpture. The rhythm and repetition of the window openings add playfulness and act as an integral part of the viewing experience connecting the exterior with the interior. The skylight represents Noguchi’s concept to connect the earth and sky.
The viewing room is divided into three areas for digital experience and the overall space acts as a tactile exhibit of materials. The panoramic 3D projection of the garden with Noguchi sculptures (including sound), the viewing area (remote control holograms of Noguchi sculptures) and a double-sided interactive screen with Noguchi’s biographical and artistic timeline.
Faculty: Tetsu Ohara
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the act of viewing art has prompted a virtual response. The design language is derived from the analysis of Isamu Noguchi’s Ashtrays and the embedded idea of making things to facilitate an activity. Emphasizing interactivity and different ways of virtual viewing, the interACTive aims to create a remote single-user experience with Noguchi’s artwork and remain unique and exploratory. Noguchi noted, “art is an act,” and this space aims to translate his ideal behind Ashtrays, connecting the spaces through the system of interrelating connection, in relation to different prototypes and exploration that produced the sculptures that cohesively exemplifies Noguchi.
Faculty: Sheryl Kasak
Inspired by Noguchi’s process of sculpting, the design for this viewing room experience is grounded in the act of “carving” to reveal form. Subtracted Landscapes is designed to help users understand Noguchi’s work in a fully immersive environment, where touch and play are encouraged, and the relationship of body to sculpture is reexamined and recontextualized in this remote experience. Overall a sense of harmony of form is presented, and a system of balance for subtraction and extrusion applied to further investigate details.
As users circulate through the space, shifts in perspective viewpoints enhance the user
experience by enticing a spirit of discovery. Throughout, nuances of texture help bring to life a tactile exploration of his work. In this new world of social distancing, Subtracted Landscapes looks at changing our physical relationship with the catalogue of work — tactility is encouraged and we are brought back to a playful, child-like state of wonder, allowing us to become fully enveloped in the world of Noguchi.
Faculty: Tetsu Ohara