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Isamu Noguchi: The Freeform Sofa

Isamu Noguchi was a sculptor-designer with a predilection for the language of biomorphism that is clearly represented in the Freeform Sofa designed in 1946.

The sculptural background hugely influenced his works as furniture designer as it is also clear with the Freeform that looks as made of two large stones even with a dynamic and light appearance.

The soft cushion and ottoman make the Freeform comfortable but also its shape sculptural. The upholster is in wool while the frame is made of beechwood with a maple feet.

Isamu Noguchi’s background was clear in all his design works where he combined contemporary sculptural forms and a master level of techincal skills. Also the influence of artists as Alexander Calder and Constantin Brancusi –of whom he was an assistant in 1927- clearly shown in his works.

noguchi freeform sofa

Noguchi was particularly interested in materials, shapes and how they interact with the space itself. For him, everyday objects should have been perceived by their users as sculptures with a functional value and for everyone’s pleasure.

He also believed that there was no difference between fine and applied art, and he worked to close the gap between craftsand fine art in the most democratic and functional way possible.

noguchi freeform sofa

Across the 40s and 50s Isamu Noguchi designed several pieces for Herman Miller and Knoll all of which were hugely influenced by the organic design philosophy of the mid century modern period. However, the Freeform Sofa was particularly different from all his other works of the time.

Herman Miller produced the original version of the Freeform for a limited number of years; making the original an highly collectable piece. From 2002 Vitra –together with the Noguchi Foundation- reissued the sofa together with other classical Noguchi’s pieces within the Vitra Collection series.

All the pics in this post come from here.