Celebrating the Legacy of Nakashima: Exhibition & Symposium
Insite|December 2016

There is a special feeling to working with this wood. You realise how long these trees have lived, and it places you in a kind of upstart position. In their presence, you feel humility instead of that arrogance that wants to conquer nature.” 

George Nakashima

NID has always been privileged to have several noteworthy designers / craftspersons / masters spending their time at the Institute and imparting their skills and knowledge to the faculty and students. One such great artist was Japanese-American woodworker George Nakashima, who spent his time at NID during 1964 and introduced the ideas of craftsmanship to a nascent design education. The event, activities, discourses and interactions bring Nakashima’s association with the Institute to the forefront along with a rediscovery of his work, life and ethos, in the backdrop of emerging modern idioms in the 20th century India.

To celebrate his works, NID organised ‘THE FREE EDGE: George Nakashima’s Legacy at NID’ an exhibition of furniture designed by him during his stay and his daughter, Mira NakashimaYarnall inaugurated the exhibition along with Pradyumna Vyas and Kosuke Nagami (Sakura Factory, Japan) on 22nd October 2016. The exhibition remained open from 22nd October 2016 to 21st November 2016. Also, preceding the exhibition ‘Discovering Nakashima’ a one-day symposium featured a keynote lecture by Mira NakashimaYarnall, a practising furniture designer and architect.The panel discussions and talks led by eminent architects and practitioners, including Mira Nakashima-Yarnall, Prof. B V Doshi, Shrikant Nivasarkar, Prof. S. Balaram served as an opportunity to discuss and share perspectives on the work and philosophy of Nakashima, in today’s context of sustainability, production and economics and the challenges faced in the field of design education and the industry. Student workshops and a design competition were also conducted to produce work inspired by Nakashima’s philosophy, encouraging students to create an object using only timber.

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