Sori Yanagi -Japanese product designer-

May 21, 2018

Sori Yanagi -Japanese product designer-

Sori Yanagi is a Japanese industrial designer.

He was born in 1915 in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan between Soetsu Yanagi and Kaneko Yanagi. His father Soetsu is a founder of Mingei Movement which celebrates beauty in every ordinary object made by anonymous craftsmen. Because of his father, Sori had many opportunities seeing and touching hand-crafted objects in his childhood, and it affected his sensitivity in design. In 1934, Sori entered Tokyo Art School and studied western paintings. When he knew Le Corbusier by a lecture in the university, his interests started to move from paintings to designing objects and architecture. Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand influenced him when he worked in Japan in the early 1940s. In 1952, he established YANAGI DESIGN OFFICE and is still remaining today.

After World War , he began industrial design. He played a huge role in developing Japan’s industrial design and produced various products, such as furniture, Olympics torch holder, tunnel, kiosk and so on.

One of the most famous works of him is the “Butterfly Stool”. It is selected as a permanent collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre Museum, and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.  

Butterfly Stool (1954)

His products represent his thinking “True beauty is not made, it is born naturally.”

That is why his designs are kept attracting people after no matter how much times goes by. Also, when he creates industrial products, he makes several models by hand with plaster and uses them by himself to see whether they are easy to use or not. After making several corrections based on the actual uses, he makes a final model for a production. Stainless bowl was designed 60years ago and is still loved by lots of people in Japan and many other countries. His simple but beautiful design and usefulness of his products come from his uncompromising work, and those are the reasons why he still has so many fans after he died.

Feel his beautiful design at home :) It would spice up your life!

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