In 1951, American/Japanese artist and designer Isamu Noguchi started to design the Akari Light Sculptures, a total of over 100 hand-made Shoji-paper models for table lights, standard lamps or ceiling luminaires. For the name of this lighting series he chose the word 'akari', the Japanese terms for brightness and light, and also lightness. Collection Vitra Design Museum.
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Ever since Isamu Noguchi first designed the Akari Light Sculptures in 1951, they have been handcrafted at the Ozeki workshop in Gifu, Japan.
To create the ribbed shape, thin bamboo rods are stretched across the original wooden form designed by Noguchi. Then shoji paper - the highest quality of washi paper - is cut into strips and painstakingly adhered to the bamboo ribbing. After the drying process, the wooden form is removed and the lantern can be collapsed flat.
The video below, made by Ko Tsuchiya for Vitra, highlights the skill and expertise of Ozeki's artisans.