- Isamu Noguchi
- Akari & Shop
On May 22, 2018, The Noguchi Museum held its Spring Benefit and presentation of the fifth annual Isamu Noguchi Award to industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and landscape designer Edwina von Gal. The silent auction included three works by Isamu Noguchi: Pierced Table, edition 3 of 6, and Pierced Seat, editions 5 of 12 and 6 of 12, that were each auctioned individually.
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 2010–14, 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 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 received the New York School of Interior Design’s Green Design Award in 2018.