The Arts of Japan

Japanese Design

A Survey Since 1950

Marcus, George H.Philadelphia Museum of Art · Harry N. Abrams · 1995

Cover of Japanese Design

Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950 was released in 1994 in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This catalog offers insightful introductions, essays, and biographies written by the exhibition curators with contributions from 15 Japanese critics, historians, and designers.

Blurb

The first comprehensive presentation of modern design in Japan, this elegant survey documents a unique interpretation of the forms and aesthetics of products made for everyday use. Tracing the development of more than 250 objects—ranging from a simple white porcelain soy-sauce container of the 1950s to the complex electronic equipment and pace-setting fashions of the 1980s and 1990s—this book examines the work of designers who have boldly challenged their Western counterparts in terms of adventurousness and originality.

Encompassing the fields of furniture, fashion, textile design, housewares, consumer electronics, graphics, packaging, and crafts, Japanese Design explores the indefinable quality that makes these objects quintessentially Japanese. Over 310 illustrations, 246 in color, demonstrate that, regardless of their style or function, they share an aesthetic rooted in the concepts of compactness, craftsmanship, humor, asymmetry, and simplicity. Combined with Japan's highly developed craft tradition and the imagery of its paintings and prints, these contribute to a broad visual vocabulary shared by designers throughout the country today, so that even a television set or a fire fighter's uniform has unmistakably Japanese characteristics.

The history and spirit of Japanese design are examined in the 19 essays that serve to introduce the subject. In their insightful introductions, Felice Fischer and Kathryn B. Hiesinger, curators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, describe the antecedents of Japanese design and its postwar history, while a group of well-known Japanese designers, critics, and corporate managers discuss design education, marketing, government, and organizational involvements; survey the development of their particular fields; and provide personal statements and corporate histories that present a rich, varied picture of the essence of Japanese design.

Critical biographies of designers and makers, with appended bibliographies, complete this stunning volume, which accompanies an exhibition held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the fall of 1994. Japanese Design is sure to become an indispensible source for everyone interested in contemporary design.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    6
  • Japanese Design: From Meiji to Modern
    Fischer, Felice
    8
  • Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950
    Hiesinger, Kathryn B.
    14
  • Design and Government
    Arai, Shinichi
    20
  • Design and Marketing
    Nakanishi, Motoo
    22
  • Design Organizations
    Toyoguchi, Kyō
    25
  • Design Education
    Mukai, Shūtarō
    26
  • Industrial Design
    Habara, Shukuro
    30
  • Furniture
    Sugasawa, Mitsumasa
    32
  • Textiles and Kimonos
    Iwamoto Wada, Yoshiko
    34
  • Fashion
    Fukai, Akiko
    37
  • Packaging
    Kimura, Katsu
    38
  • Graphics
    Kamekura, Yūsaku
    39
  • Designer Statement
    Kawasaki, Kazuo
    42
  • Designer Statement
    Watanabe, Riki
    43
  • Company History: GK Design Group
    Ekuan, Kenji
    44
  • Company History: Honda
    Iwakura, Shinya
    45
  • Company History: Kenmochi Design Associates
    Matsumoto, Tetsuo
    46
  • Company History: Nippon Design Center
    Nagai, Kazumasa
    47
  • Company History: Sony
    Yamaguchi, Matami
    47
  • Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950
  • The 1950s
    50
  • The 1960s
    74
  • The 1970s
    104
  • The 1980s
    132
  • The 1990s
    192
  • Biographies
    205
  • Notes
    228
  • Selected Biographies
    230
  • Acknowledgements
    232
  • Index of Designers and Makers
    234

Details

Title
Japanese Design
Subtitle
A Survey Since 1950
Publication Date
1995
Language
English
Media
Print
Page Count
236
Format
Hardcover
ISBN 13
0-8109-3509-0
Publishers
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Harry N. Abrams
Editor
Marcus, George H.
Contributors
Arai, Shinichi
Ekuan, Kenji
Fischer, Felice
Fukai, Akiko
Habara, Shukuro
Hiesinger, Kathryn B.
Iwakura, Shinya
Iwamoto Wada, Yoshiko
Kamekura, Yūsaku
Kawasaki, Kazuo
Kimura, Katsu
Matsumoto, Tetsuo
Mukai, Shūtarō
Nagai, Kazumasa
Nakanishi, Motoo
Sugasawa, Mitsumasa
Toyoguchi, Kyō
Watanabe, Riki
Yamaguchi, Matami
Designer
Katsui, Mitsuo

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