Depasquale + Maffini

In our hyper-technological and complex era, we believe that photography is still one of the main media to discover new things, and to nourish our curiosity and love for what’s beautiful in this world. This is why we are grateful to photographers like Depasquale+Maffini, that visited and documented the former home and work space of George Nakashima, allowing us to discover his incredible work, and a legacy that perdures to our present day.

George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a woodworker, architect and furniture maker born in 1905 in the state of Washington. He is considered to be one of the main innovators of 20th century furniture design and one of the fathers of the American Craft movement. After earning his architecture master degree at M.I.T., he spent a year in France, where he got a diploma at École Américaine des Beaux Art, Fontainbleu. He then moved to Japan, where in 1924 started working as an architect at Antonin Raymond’s studio, integrating Western technology with Japanese forms. He also has the chance to travel across the country to study extensively Japanese architecture. Back in the United States in 1940, he began to create furniture and teach woodworking.

In 1946 Nakashima acquired three acres of land (in change of labor) in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and – embracing the traditional Japanese building principles of “ki-mon” – started building the structures and interiors documented in this series of photographs.


Half a century later, in 2008, the Nakashima home, studio and workshop are included in the Pennsylvania National Register of Historic Places. Since 2014, the property is listed in the USA National Historic Landmark and is considered a World Monument. Today is Mira Nakashima, George’s daughter, that keeps his legacy alive, by designing furniture that captures the spirit and beauty of wood and finally bringing a sense of harmony and peace to the final user.


According to the Nakashima Woodworkers website, he “began his furniture business as a reactonary movement against the practice twentieth-century ‘modern’ architecture, design and art.” – elaborating on the ethos of the XIX century European Art and Craft movement. George was looking for a more simple, holistic and direct way of living, not just of working, but his philosophy was much more than this, encompassing views on nature, work, craftsmanship and architecture. The sense of awe that Nakashima felt in front of the nobility of a tree is the same feeling of wonder Arxipelag aims to provide to its readers.

Depasquale + Maffini

Raised in Upstate New York and first trained by his father, Michael Depasquale began his formal studies of photography in London, before graduating to The Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.


After graduating in Political Sciences, Martina Maffini moved to Paris, Buenos Aires and New York where she met Michael in 2011. Since then they share life and work. They are currently based between Paris and Milan.