Term Paper: Sori Yanagi

Pages: 5 (1408 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Sori Yanagi, an artist and industrial designer. Sori Yanagi is a famous Japanese designer who has become famous around the world for his modern and sleek designs. He has created a wide variety of industrial and household designs, and besides his Butterfly Stool, which is world famous; he designs flatware, lighting, and a variety of other items, as well. Yanagi is one of the greatest industrial designers because of the variety of items he has designed, and the timeless quality of those items.

Sori Yanagi was born in 1915 in Japan. He attended art school in Tokyo, and studied under designer Charlotte Perriand for two years in that city, which is where he first encountered modern European designs. He served in Japan's armed services during World War II, and then returned to Tokyo to continue his design career. He founded his own design school, Yanagi Industrial Design Institute in 1952. He created a variety of housewear and furniture designs, but he also designed industrial items such as the Yokohama City Subway, along with cars and motorcycles. In fact, there are few things this designer did not attempt to create during his long career.

He became the director of the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo in 1977, and continued as director until 2006.

It is not surprising that he grew up to be an artist, because is father was Soetsu Yanagi, a leader of the Japanese Folk Arts and Crafts movements in earlier times.

In fact, his father opened the Folk Crafts Museum in 1936. Sori Yanagi once said "True beauty is not made; it is born naturally,' Sori Yanagi," and his designs prove this. They look so simple they seem to have been born out of nature, rather than created and designed, and this is the mark of true industrial design. It is part of the landscape, the region, and the purpose for which it is designed, and in this, it is almost organic, rather than created. Thus, Yanagi's feeling that beauty is born naturally comes out in his work. All of his pieces look very natural, as if they could have come from nature, and that helps create harmony and beauty in the pieces. The Butterfly Stool, one of his most famous works, embodies this harmony, it looks like a butterfly's wings, just waiting for a person to perch on it and rest for a while, just as a butterfly perches on a flower for a moment or two.

Yanagi has created countless designs in his lifetime. However, the Butterfly Stool is probably one of Yanagi's most famous and beautiful works. One of the stools is on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City, which was viewed during a class field trip. The design is extremely simple and yet elegant as well. It is created from molded plywood in two matching shapes, and held together with a simple brass stretcher or bar, that keeps the pieces in the proper position and adds stability at the same time.

The piece looks extremely Japanese in its simplicity of design, and yet very modern in the way the pieces flow together, almost like water. One writer says of his work, "The result is not unlike a Japanese haiku in plywood -- succinct, graceful, and atmospheric."

The image below is the butterfly stool, and it is easy to see how simple, graceful, and elegant it really is. Interestingly, he designed this stool in 1954, but its beauty and elegance are still timely today. He won a Milan Design Award for the stool in 1957, and it still continues to be sold at shops and art galleries around the world.

Butterfly Stool

However, the Butterfly Stool is not his only historic and memorable design. Also in 1954, Yanagi designed the Elephant Stool out of one single sheet of fiberglass, and it was the first all-plastic stool in history.

Yanagi's designs have remained timeless because they are simple and yet complex at the same time. They embody elements of Japanese artwork, and some have compared them to poetry and calligraphy. He always attempted to keep his designs simple, like Japanese art, but very modern and stylish at the same time.

Elephant… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sori Yanagi.  (2007, May 9).  Retrieved June 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sori-yanagi/7773119

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"Sori Yanagi."  Essaytown.com.  May 9, 2007.  Accessed June 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sori-yanagi/7773119.