Noguchi Table

Status: Built

Program: Furniture

Client: Heinrich Hermann Architect

The Noguchi Table project recreates the lost geometry of an original Isamu Noguchi Table burned in a fire. Through the analysis of the photos (representational images) multiple diagrammatic and mapping procedures were invented to observe the proportions, profiles, and the dimensions of the table in its original room of space. From the 2-D investigations, physical 3-D models were built to understand the materiality and contextual processes. The physical models were then cut in different axis sections, scanned into the computer, and reconstructed through digital modeling. In return, the virtual tool articulates the physical process and allows more fluid research into the manufacturing of the Noguchi Table.


In addition to finding lost geometry, the Noguchi Table research develops a reverse engineering process that allows existing photographs to be mapped onto three-dimensional digital modeling software.  Computers construct the geometry by building a digital model of the room and the space where the table was located in the house, including the table, the floor patterns, the windows, and the doors – those elements acting as a reference point to define the basic geometry of the table.  Solely constructing the model digitally became too abstract, so the physical models construct material sensibility in shaping the form of the table using the human touch of craft.  By cutting and creating models on different axis, we obtain the sectional curves which may then be scanned back into the computer to negotiate with the digital model and the physical scanned models.  For the final manufacturing drawings, the shipbuilding carpenter works with full scale templates – reconstructing the geometry through template and hand.