A Japanese-American, Noguchi's most important work is that he really created a new genre of furniture design, that was steeped in Japanese tradition, but also uniquely American and modern. Organic shapes and wood materials informed many of this pieces, but he combined those ancient-feeling shapes with Mid-Century Modern shapes, creating these simplistic furniture pieces that are so fabulous and full.
Probably one of his most famous pieces is his coffee table. With a glass top in the rough shape of a kidney bean, it's his organic and strong wood base that really sets the piece apart. Amorphous and curvy, this piece is at once strong and also subtle. It makes for a great addition to any modern home because it can really fit into a space without grabbing too much attention.
Another famous design of his is the cyclone table. Featuring an unassuming round top, the base on these tables is a swirl of metal wire that creates a geometric dream. The table is at once showstopping and barely there. All of his furniture pieces were also very compatible with other modern pieces, take for instance his cyclone tables and the work of other Mid-Century Modern designer Harry Bertoia.
Another hallmark of Noguchi was his use of paper lanterns. He didn't exactly invent them or pioneer them, but he certainly made them cool to be used, and you still see his use of paper in lighting used in modern homes today.
Along with being an architect, landscape architect and furniture maker, Noguchi was also famous for his sculptures, and he even designed sets for stage productions. He first started really focusing on furniture design in 1948 when he partnered with the Herman Miller company and joined contemporaries like George Nelson, Paul László and Charles Eames. Such an impact Noguchi had on modern design that he has his own museum: the Noguchi Museum in New York City.
Swank Lighting is an amazing resource not just for the best vintage Murano glass lamps on the market today, but also a wonderful resource for interior design inspiration and a great place to get an education about past and present designers. Keep up-to-date with everything we do on our Facebook page and our twitter.