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, there were many firsts—beyond those in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—in the ways this project manifested. For the first time the students embarked on a two phase project: Noguchi Behind The Scene, which consisted of a Display Design Charrette which focused on client’s brief stipulating display components, fixtures, lighting, sustainable materials, surfaces and finishes to promote the sales of Akari Light Sculptures. The results then informed a Showroom and Cafe Design which focused on additional and flexibly programmed spaces for the behind the scene support of retail which included a cafe, event seating, storage, office/meeting space, and restrooms, also with an emphasis in lighting, materials, surfaces, and finishes. These associated programs are adjacently located in Isamu Noguchi’s 10th Street studio, across the street from the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, Queens, and parallel the Museum’s current design expansion explorations which celebrate the Akari Light Sculptures. The students had the unprecedented opportunity to work closely with Museum Director Brett Littman and Facilities Director George Juergens (a Pratt graduate), who participated in milestone reviews on both phases and who selected two winners and two finalists.
We ask as students, as educators, and as practitioners: How can design foster a dialogue between the acts of making, supporting, and commodifying?
Zhaoxi Dong, Nathalie Elzayn, Miranda Fallon, Rose Gorski, Tianli Gu, Hanhui Guan, Leilei Guo, Wu Hao, Huahua Huang, Yongjia Huang, Ann Hung, Joette Jones, Parabjot Kaur, Eunice (Yurim) Lee, Xinyue (Bonnie) Li, Wenjing Liu, Veronica London, Lauren Park, Kaelin Probeck, Claudia Oertli, Gloria Refrigeri, Polina Shchukina, Christy Thai, Polina Ustinova, Qinghua Wang, Boyan Wu, Junger Xia, Lily Xuan, Shannon Yao, Michelle Yoo, Yiwen Zhang, Shiyue Zhang, Junjiao Zhao
Gregory Bugel, Sheryl Kasak, Tetsu Ohara, Suzanne Song