2018 Spring Benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award

May 22, 2018

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.

2018 Honorees

Naoto Fukasawa
Courtesy of Naoto Fukasawa Design

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 2010–14, 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
Photo: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

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 received the New York School of Interior Design’s Green Design Award in 2018.


Honorary Benefit Chair
Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Benefit Co-chairs
Andrew Fisher
Phyllis Lally Seevers
Benefit Committee
Alexander Adler
Naomi S. Antonakos
Ate Atema and Angela Sun
Andy Augenblick and Alex Ross
AXA Art Americas Corporation
Spencer Bailey
Frances F. L. Beatty, Ph.D.
Catherine Bettis
Seema Boesky Charitable Trust
Noreen and Ken Buckfire
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Andrea Crane
Charles Crow
Elizabeth de Cuevas
Nanci L. & Richard F. Czaja
Peggy and Dick Danziger
Susan Dunne
The Durst Organization
Donald H. Elliott
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Embiricos
Katherine and Luke Fichthorn
Christiane Fischer
Eileen and Andrew Fisher
Gallery Kasahara
Richard Gluckman and Tiffany Bell
Audrey & Martin Gruss Foundation
Gail Hashimoto
Kim Heirston
Herman Miller
Andrea and David Holbrook
Steven Holl
ITO EN (North America) INC.
J&AR Foundation
Eileen and Peter Jachym
Miki Kashiwagi and Tom Bingham
Susan and Peter Kessler
Peter Kimmelman
Calvin Klein Family Foundation
Dr. Patrick T. Lally and Valerie M. Lally
Lucy W. Lamphere
Maya Lin
Susan and Glenn Lowry
Jonathan J. Marvel
Karen McDonald
Jon McMillan
Kathy Mele
Christina Costa Montani
LeConte Moore, DeWitt Stern
Toshiko Mori
Hiroko and Satoru Murase
Mira Nakashima
Jennifer and Malcolm Nolen
Pace Gallery
Dan and Nancy Paduano
Russel and Julie Patterson
Paul Kasmin Gallery
Monique Péan and Stephen Glass
Judy and Peter Price
Janna and Ryan Raskopf
Howard Read, Cheim & Read
Jane L. Richards
The Row
Nicholas Sands
Phyllis and Leonard Seevers
Robert and Eva Shaye
Cindy Sherman
Eric C. Shiner
Masako Shinn
Angelica and William Sturm
Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Foundation
Sundaram Tagore
Stefano Tonchi
Ian Wardropper
Carol Warner and Ned Cooke
Ben Watson
Anthony Williams
Richard Wright
Takashi Yanai
Robert Young and Christina Morgan

Isamu Noguchi Award Honorees