The Beauty and Delicacy of Isamu Noguchi’s Akari Collection at Isetan


The Isamu Noguchi Akari collection is a masterpiece of Japanese design. Created by famed artist Isamu Noguchi, these lighting fixtures are characterized by their delicate shade sculptures and warm, diffused light. The collection is on display at Isetan, and has been captivating audiences since its introduction.

The Origins of the Akari Collection

Isamu Noguchi first began designing Akari lamps in the 1950s. Inspired by the traditional Japanese paper lanterns he encountered on his travels, Noguchi set out to create a more modern interpretation of the iconic form. His goal was to capture the delicate beauty of paper, while imbuing it with a sense of functionality and contemporary style.

Design Features of the Akari Collection

The Akari collection is characterized by its intricate shades, which are made from pieces of Japanese paper that have been hand-folded and attached to bamboo ribs. The design is intended to create a unique, sculptural effect when the lamp is illuminated, casting warm, diffused light throughout any space.

In addition to their sculptural form, the Akari lamps are designed to be functional as well. Each lamp is equipped with an electrical cord and can be easily hung or placed on a surface. The collection includes a range of sizes and shapes, from large floor lamps to petite table lamps.

The Akari Collection at Isetan

The Akari collection is on display at Isetan, one of Tokyo’s premier department stores. The exhibit showcases a range of Akari lamps, including some of Noguchi’s most iconic designs. Visitors can easily see the intricate details of the lamps up close and experience how they function in a variety of settings.

Why the Akari Collection is Still Relevant Today

Despite being designed over 70 years ago, the Akari collection remains a beloved example of mid-century modern design. Its combination of functionality, style, and unique form has made it an enduring classic. Additionally, the sustainable materials used in the construction of the lamps make them a testament to the importance of eco-friendly design.

The Future of the Akari Collection

Currently, the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum is the official producer of the Akari collection. The lamps are still produced according to Noguchi’s original design and are available for purchase worldwide.

As we look toward the future, it’s clear that the Akari collection will continue to be an important part of the design world. Its timeless style and innovative techniques continue to inspire new generations of designers and artists.

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