Noguchi Table at The Conran Shop

Icons at The Conran Shop: Noguchi Table

Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1944, the Noguchi table represents the designer’s belief that ‘everything is sculpture’.

As a part of our Icons at The Conran Shop series, we explore the composition and background of the piece, which has become a hero of 20th century furniture design over the years since its initial conception.

 

The Noguchi table at home in a contemporary space | Image courtesy of Vitra ©
The Noguchi table at home in a contemporary space | Image courtesy of Vitra ©

 

Gathering Material

A true lesson in how to combine contrasting materials to achieve aesthetic harmony, the table’s curved legs are crafted from rich wood and seem to effortlessly and delicately support the freeform glass surface.

Finding a balance – literally – between furniture and fine sculpture, the Noguchi table is sturdy and durable in form, while remaining ethereal with its fluid lines.

The table is composed of just three pieces: two solid interlocking legs that form a stabilising tripod and the ¾ inch glass that simultaneously shows off and enhances the complex balance at work beneath.

The Noguchi table possesses a versatility in its style that makes it appear perfectly at home within both contemporary and traditional spaces.

 

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Design Intervention

When Noguchi was approached about designing a table for well-known furniture maker, Robsjohn-Gibbings, he created a small model for them, an evolution of the table he had created for A. Conger Goodyear, president of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Noguchi heard nothing back about the model and left to work in America.

Robsjohn-Gibbings then created their own variation of the table from the small model the designer had given, without his permission.

When Noguchi returned and found the table already made, Robsjohn-Gibbings simply said “Anybody can make a three-legged table.”

To ensure the design got the recognition it deserved, Noguchi created his own inimitable, signature table with refined enhancements to prove that, while anybody can make a three-legged table, only an expert can achieve perfect balance.

 

The Noguchi table in a black ash finish | Image courtesy of Herman Miller ©
The Noguchi table in a black ash finish | Image courtesy of Herman Miller ©

 

Isamu Noguchi 1904 – 1988

American artist, Isamu Noguchi, was one of the 20th century’s most important and critically acclaimed sculptors.

Through a lifetime of artistic experimentation and extensive travel, Noguchi created everything from sculpture, furniture and lighting to ceramics, architecture and set designs.

His work is celebrated as simultaneously subtle and bold, traditional and modern – setting a new standard for the reintegration of the arts.

 

Isamu Noguchi | Image courtesy of Kazumi Kurigami ©
Isamu Noguchi | Image courtesy of Kazumi Kurigami ©

 

The Noguchi table is available in three wood finishes: maple, black ash and walnut. Click here to see the full collection.