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2018 Noguchi Award Given to Naoto Fukasawa and Edwina von Gal

Industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and landscape designer Edwina von Gal have been chosen by the Noguchi Museum as the winners of the 2018 Isamu Noguchi Award, a prize given to those who “share Noguchi’s spirit of innovation, global consciousness, and commitment to East/West cultural exchange.” The award will be presented on May 22 at the annual benefit of the museum, which was founded in Long Island City by Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi, who is acclaimed for his midcentury furniture, public gardens and playscapes, and minimalist sculptures.

Fukasawa is a director of 21_21 Design Sight, a creative adviser for Muji, and an art director for Maruni Wood Industry. His varied work includes designs for electronic equipment, furniture, and interior spaces. Fukasawa, who is sixty-two, became inspired by Noguchi’s forms shortly after moving to the US from Japan in 1989. His work, including designs for a wall-mounted CD player and a humidifier, are in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Von Gal, who is based in East Hampton, New York, has served as principal of her eponymous landscape design firm since 1984. She has collaborated with architects such as Frank Gehry, Richard Gluckman, Maya Lin, and Annabelle Selldorf. Her approach to design focuses on sustainability and natural landscapes, and in 2013 she founded the Perfect Earth Project, a nonprofit devoted to promoting toxin-free lawns and gardens.   

Previous winners of the award, which is now in its fifth year, include Lord Norman Foster, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jasper Morrison, Yoshio Taniguchi, Tadao Ando, and Elyn Zimmerman. Last year’s awardees were John Pawson and Hiroshi Senju.