Saturday, April 23, 2011

Furniture Design of George Nakashima

"A tree is our most intimate contact with nature."

George Nakashima was born in Spokane, Washington and started out as a student of Forestry and Architecture at the University of Washington in the 1920s. He made architecture his main focus, studying at the École Américaine des Beaux Arts outside of Paris, and graduating from M.I.T. with an MA in Architecture in 1930.

On his own, however, he devoted his time to learning from traditional woodworkers in India and Japan and, while at an internment camp with his family during the Second World War, he was trained on salvaged wood by a master Japanese carpenter. He found an immense well of inspiration in unfinished natural wood, writing that, "in dealing with solid wood almost each piece becomes a personal problem and the nature of each slab is used to its fullest capacity." The furniture and installations that Nakashima designed hearken back to early American furniture in their economy of means and their respect for the unique qualities of each wood. (From the Online Design Dictionary)

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