ISAMU KENMOCHI

1912-1971
Japan

Isamu Kenmochi is one of the most talented Japanese designers and one of the pioneers of modern Japanese design. He participated to create and define the Japanese industrial design and his participation at Brussels Universal Exhibition in 1958 was widely noticed.

After his graduation of the Tokyo College of Industrial Arts in 1932, he began working for the government at the Industrial Arts Research Institute (IARI) and he was part of the first generation of Japanese industrial designers.
In 1950, his meeting with Isamu Noguchi is a turning point. A young friendship and an iconic collaboration began that summer : the « Bamboo Basket Chair » were born, unfortunately the unique prototype was lost but this creation is important in the design history.
In 1952, Isamu Kenmochi goes for a trip in the United States and does more and more research on industrial design. When he comes back to Japan the same year, he founds the Japan Industrial Designers Association. Thanks to his training, IARI, his research and this trip, he is one of the essential characters of Post-War design, in Japan and on the whole world. He uses technological advances to apply them to traditional Japanese materials. His « Rattan Furniture » series is famous for this reason : he uses bamboo and modern technical processes of folding and assembling to create this perfectly comfortable furniture pieces.

He is the father of a new generation of designers and thanks to his close relations with the government, he is one of the most famous Japanese creators : his participation in the development of the Japanese pavilion at the Brussels Universal Exhibition in 1958 is a perfect example. He collaborated with Kunio Maekawa and they delivered a pavilion close to the thought Isamu Kenmochi has defended all his life : a building with traditional and modern shapes, combining ancestral Japanese architectural forms and Modernism. Japanese crafts was displayed in the first rooms ; the following ones celebrated the last objects from Japanese industries. Outside and inside were in perfect harmony : the pavilion received the gold medal of the event.

The furniture of Isamu Kenmochi are organic and radical, modern without ever forgetting the tradition. His design is an ode to a Japan full of promises after the Second World War, an uncompromising and poetic design, purified and soothing •

CATALOG :

No. 207

ISAMU KENMOCHI1960

C-3150

ISAMU KENMOCHI1960

S-304 stool

ISAMU KENMOCHI1967

S-303 stool

ISAMU KENMOCHI1968

Kenmochi table

ISAMU KENMOCHI1965

Kenmochi Design Office

KENMOCHI DESIGN OFFICE1975

Bamboo Chair

NOGUCHI & KENMOCHI1950/2008

Tatami floor-chairs

ISAMU KENMOCHI1960

Coffee table

ISAMU KENMOCHI1965