Herman Miller Noguchi Table
designed by Isamu Noguchi
The Noguchi Table is an iconic low table, and a legitimate piece of American sculpture. A three legged table with but two legs, it's an exercise in subversive design. The elegant wooden "canoes" that form the legs are mirror images underneath a literal mirror image, and the overall effect is powerful and expressive. Aside from the thrill of owning a legitimately famous art object and solving the problem of your current inadequate low table, this is a truly beautiful piece. It's classic without being outdated, and that's one of the highest compliments in the art and furniture world. It's also great for holding coffee cups and newspapers!
The Noguchi Table in a white ash finish is now available for the first time. Perfect for light interiors, the white ash undergoes a special process that arrests the wood in a "freshly cut" state. This same hue is available for the Eames Lounge Chair, also a new introduction by Herman Miller.
Sculptor Isamu Noguchi took wood and glass and blended them together to make this graceful, organic piece of furniture. The Noguchi table's balance of sculptural form and durable function has made it an understated and beautiful element in homes and offices since its introduction in 1948.
The Noguchi Table has been part of the interior and industrial design world for more than 60 years. It was first introduced by Herman Miller in 1947, and it has maintained a sterling reputation, as well as high sales volumes, ever since. It's beautiful, classic, durable, perfectly balanced (literally, according to Herman Miller) and the very embodiment of elegance in a low table.
So whichever way you look at the table, from above or from below, there will be a reflective design, a kind of hall-of-mirrors that produces calm rather than a loss of perspective. Even with floors that don't show the reflection, the second canoe still glides along the smooth surface of the wood, carpet, tile or slab. The design is respectful of natural forms and of the environment, two traits that Japanese architecture and art are known for.
We have haiku-esque simplicity and richness of design on the one hand, and somewhat American forms (canoe, lake) on the other. It's a marriage of two cultures in one piece, produced by a man who was himself a product of an American-Japanese union. It's the natural ideals of Frank Lloyd Wright (himself inspired by the Japanese) and the modern reliance on new forms married into a single beautiful package.
It isn't just sculptural beauty and organic poignancy that keeps this table at the top of the interior design food chain. It's also very well made and perfectly balanced. It happens also to be extremely easy to put together and take apart.
To begin with, there are only three parts in every Noguchi Table. There are the two legs (or canoes), and then the wide rounded-triangle glass top, three quarters of an inch thick. The glass top of the table is free floating. The legs fit together with a single pin. Just like that, you have a three legged table with only two legs - a perfectly balanced and perfectly proportioned piece of living room furniture that improves the space, will stand up to tests of strength and durability, and an ingenious, simple conversation piece and design achievement. Noguchi was inspired to make this table when a rival, the man who stole one of his early designs, told him that "anyone can make a three legged table." Perhaps so, but only one of the greatest furniture designers in the 20th century could have made a piece as bold, lovely, and functional as the Noguchi Table.
There are few tables in the world of interior and industrial design with the staying power of the Noguchi Table, but advances in taste, style, and aesthetic possibility have never dislodged the table from the popular mind, or popular wish lists.
The Noguchi Table is, ironically, not quite what its creator expected it to be. According to Herman Miller, it was Noguchi's belief that design should disappear into the environment, that it should merge into its surroundings. While the table is certainly calm and organic, it's impossible for a design as stunningly well-executed as it is to disappear into anything, much less into the same mold as what surrounds it. No, this table stands out like any great piece of sculpture does - even if it is against its own even-tempered will.
Where does it fit in the home?
The Noguchi Table can fit into almost any room of your home. Though designed for the living room and great room, its organic structure and highly durable materials make it a natural fit for covered porches and outdoor spaces as well. It works perfectly, of course, as a coffee table, in any room of the home in which such a table is needed. In bedrooms it can serve not as a nightstand but as a display area or a side table; in foyers, great rooms, and family rooms it has a place as a common surface, for play, reflection, and admiration.
Perhaps the only room in which the Noguchi Table wouldn't feel at home is the kitchen; it's not quite high enough for a traditional American dining room table. However, it can fulfill the food-surface role admirably after the meal when you and your guests are all seated easily in the living room.
How do I know it's authentic?
Because the Noguchi Table is so popular, there have been a number of knock-offs and flat out intellectual thefts. There are dozens of tables out there professing to be Noguchi's, or merely posing as them, hoping no one asks. But there is only one original, and it's made by Herman Miller. How do you tell?
When the tables are made at Herman Miller manufacturing facilities, they are stamped in two places with unmistakable seals of approval. Along the longest side of the three quarter inch thick pane of glass, you can see the signature of Isamu Noguchi, secured for Herman Miller through the offices and urgings of the Noguchi Foundation. All genuine Noguchi tables made after January 20, 2003 have this signature.
Also in place since January 20, 2003, there is another marker that proves the authenticity of the table. On the underside of the base, there is a medallion. Underneath that medallion, you will find another signature, again that of the creator, Isamu Noguchi.
The Noguchi Foundation and Herman Miller take very seriously our responsibility to make sure this table is always authentic, and also to make sure it's easy to spot a fake. These marks are a great way of doing that.
Each Noguchi Table is etched with a seal of authenticity
Dimensions: 15.75" h x 50" w x 36" d
The Herman Miller Noguchi Table is also known by the following manufacturer Item Numbers: IN50OU, IN50E3, IN50CX.
3/4-inch thick glass top. Interlocking solid wood legs.
Overall: 15.75" h x 50" w x 36" d
A freeform, 3/4-inch plate-glass top rests on two curved, solid wood legs that interlock to form a tripod for self-stabilizing support.
When a piece of furniture is so distinctive and desired, copycats come out of the woodwork. To assure authenticity, the signature of Isamu Noguchi discreetly appears on the edge of the top and on a medallion on the underside of the base; under the medallion, his initials are stamped into the base.
For all those reasons and more, the Noguchi Table has become a major entry in the canon of modern interior design (you can read more about the Noguchi Table's design story), as opposed to being merely very popular with consumers. Magazines, critics, museums, and other designers have admired it for years, and its list of feature articles, critical appreciations, and museum showings speak for themselves in that regard. The ingenious nature of the design and the curvilinear, graceful sweep of its lines combine to form a functional package with limitless aesthetic appeal. And that appeal extends across generations, tastes, continents, and the work of other great designers.
The table was designed by Isamu Noguchi, who was a Japanese-American sculptor and designer. He left medical school to follow his passion for art and sculpture, and within only a few months he had found widespread success. It's no wonder; his art and his furniture are expert blends of peerless craftsmanship and intelligent, succinct design. In his career he designed radios, the first modern baby monitor, furniture, sculpture, and the sets for theater companies as respected and diverse as the New York Ballet. Briefly imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, Noguchi overcame prejudice and a famous instance of intellectual theft (a rival designer stole his ideas for a table that became a big seller) to triumph as an American giant in the fields of interior and industrial design.
Assembly InstructionsNoguchi Table Assembly Instructions
Herman Miller WarrantyGeneral Warranty
With regular care and maintenance, your Herman Miller product will provide many years of superior performance and satisfaction. To maintain quality, please follow the cleaning procedures outlined here.
The instructions for the care and maintenance of Herman Miller products are provided to you as a service. No warranty is implied since results may vary.
For normal cleaning, use products specifically designed for glass.
Wood & Veneer
This includes Herman Miller products finished with wood veneer or recut wood veneer, except the oiled Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman with Rosewood, Oiled Walnut, or Oiled Santos Palisander veneer unless specifically noted.
Dust regularly with a slightly damp, soft, lint-free cloth. Wipe dry with a dry, soft cloth in the directionof the wood grain.Spills should be immediately wiped up with a damp cloth.
Once a month
Clean the surface with a soft cloth dampened with a quality cleaner formulated for wood furniture. Wipe the surface in the direction of the wood grain to remove dirt and fingerprints. Wipe dry with a clean, dry cloth.
Twice a year
Apply a good quality furniture polish with a soft cloth. Do not use aerosol-powered cleaners or polishes. Also, do not use polishes containing waxes or abrasives, or polishes that are oil based.
Herman Miller veneers meet strict testing standards for resistance to wear, light, stains, water, and pressure. To reduce the risk of damage, take some precautions: Use coasters for glasses and mugs. If a glass top is added to the veneer surface, be sure it rests on felt pads. Don’t place a potted plant on a veneer surface unless it’s in a water-tight container or in a drip tray.Don’t let vinyl binders stay on a surface for very long. Use protective pads under equipment with “rubber” cushioning feet. Some chemical compounds used in the feet on office equipment, such as printers and monitor stands, may leave permanent stains or marks.
Minor repair of water rings, stains, and scratches
Rub the surface lightly in the direction of the wood grain using No. 000 steel wool. Apply a scratch-removing polish with a color and value that simulate the veneer. If the scratches are deep, consult a professional furniture refinisher.
Wood is susceptible to bruising and scratching from heavy office equipment, so we encourage a protective surface is placed underneath. Objects should be lifted instead of dragged across a surface. Protective pads should be used under items with a rough bottom, like pottery. Denting, caused by extreme pen pressure when writing, can also damage veneer. Use desk pads or some other protection where a lot of paperwork is done. Sunlight can damage veneer as well, so veneer surfaces should not be in direct sunlight. To help a surface age evenly, users can periodically move items on their desks so that the entire surface is exposed to an even amount of light over time. In addition to light, extremely high or low humidity is a damaging environmental factor. Herman Miller suggests maintaining a relative humidity of 35-65 percent.
Herman Miller 12-year Warranty
This warranty is a promise that lives up to the highest standards in the industry. If for some reason the product fails to live up to this standard, Herman Miller will ship and repair it at no cost to you. To learn more read the Herman Miller Warranty.