Design Icon: Isamu Noguchi’s Akari Lights

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Design: Akari Light Sculpture

Designer: Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

Date: 1951

Country of Origin: United States & Japan

Manufacturer: Ozeki

Materials and Construction: Handcrafted in Japan using traditional Gifu lantern techniques and materials. Washi paper, bamboo ribbing, metal frame. The Akari lamps come in a number of shapes and sizes and are embellished with a number of different patterns (depicted above is model 1AR).

Fun facts: Noguchi was inspired to create his first Akari lamp after a visit to the Japanese town of Gifu, a locale known for its lantern production. “Akari” comes from the Japanese term for illumination.

Purchase: Noguchi Museum Shop

Further Reading: The Noguchi Museum

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

  1. I’ve always loved this lamp but never owned one! Think I may have to order one!

  2. I love Japan and everything that comes from there, especially the decoration, design, anime and their overstated television shows. This piece of design is so beautiful and brings Japan to our homes. Nice post!

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