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The sculptural Noguchi design table

The sculptural Noguchi design table

Today, we are talking about one of our favorite modern design classics. We are referring to the beautiful Noguchi Coffee Table. Created by the American sculptor and industrial designer Isamu Noguchi, this table is the jewel in the crown of all his furniture production. Of Japanese father (poet) and American mother (writer), this artist born in 1904 in Los Angeles would try to bring the West's minimalist and sculptural oriental essence.

Made of glass and wood, the Noguchi Table (named after the sculptor Isamu Noguchi) is a piece of organic design. The table was designed in 1944 at the height of the organic movement. Its shape comes from a stability study carried out by the sculptor himself. It is made up of three pieces, two of which are suspended in the air. Noguchi was able to combine form and functionality in a single sample.

In Noguchi's words, "Everything can be a sculpture, any material, any idea to fill a space, I consider it sculpture." The relationship with the manufacturer Herman Miller for whom he created the table began with the illustration of an article written by George Nelson called "How to make a table" resulting of this collaboration, Noguchi designed this coffee table. Today the table continues to be manufactured by Herman Miller at an approximate price of 1.500€. It is available in three finishes: walnut, natural cherry, and black.

The Noguchi coffee table has become a classic in its own right, its simplicity composed simply of two identical pieces of wood and a glass top. The original Noguchi table was an evolution of a table presented by A. Conger Goodyear in 1939 made of rosewood and glass.  To this day, it is still handmade. Curiously its production ceased in 1973 for not reaching a good level of sales, but it was reintroduced in 1980 in a limited edition of 480 units. Since 1984 it has been part of the Herman Miller Classics collection, offering new ones from time to time; since 2016, it has been available in ebony, walnut, white ash, and natural cherry.

Where to buy the Noguchi table?

Currently, on the market, there are a variety of options to purchase the Noguchi table. Amazon offers you the possibility of getting a high-quality replica Noguchi table without having to pay the almost 1500 euros that the original table costs. 

As the title of this post says, Isamu Noguchi tried to offer pieces in which there was a perfect balance between art and furniture in each of his creations. These design furniture, which was born from the concept of 'functional sculpture,' intended to bring beauty and art to homes and offices. Specifically, this table in 1939 for Conger Goodyear, president of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and presented to Herman Miller's general public in 1947. In its beginnings, it was produced in birch, walnut, or cherry wood, woods of high quality and resistance.

Likewise, this piece of organic design (biomorphic) and abstract forms was composed of two identical curved elements, which were placed, forming a perfect right angle. This base supported a thick glass envelope, whose shape reminds us of an angular stone or a triangle with curved vertices. Herman Miller manufactured this piece until 1973 when it became a collectible piece of furniture. Faced with the incessant demand for this classic coffee table, it was reissued in a run of almost fifty copies, and in 1984, it became part of its permanent production line, 'Herman Miller Classics.'

A couple of decades later, in 2002, the Vitra Design Museum produced reissues of his designs collaborating with the Isamu Noguchi Foundation in New York. Nowadays, we can find original pieces from that time or modern productions with both labels. To all this, we must add the examples inspired by this classic that various manufacturers reproduce in black ash, walnut, and maple wood, available for all budgets. At Ámbar Muebles, you will find this model inspired by Noguchi's modern design classic, in black or white, so you can take home a bit of the art, beauty, and functionality that this artist preached through his creations.

"Obstacles forced my imagination to find new paths that led me to the discovery of unknown and wonderful dimensions." Isamu Noguchi

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