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Miniature Yanagi Butterfly Stool

by Sori Yanagi from Vitra.

miniature yanagi butterfly stool

Design Sori Yanagi, 1954
1/6 miniature scale model
Made in Poland by Vitra

For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design - moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the New Objectivity of Bauhaus and Radical Design, and from Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth of the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and color. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.

As a student in the 1940s Sori Yanagi accompanied Charlotte Perriand on her trips through Japan, thus becoming familiar with the classical Moderns. It is possible that this is what aroused Yanagi's interest in seating, something which does not exist in Japanese culture. Even today a large number of Japanese households manage without any kind of seats, even in the cities, since it is traditional to sit on the floor on tatami mats.

In view of the above Yanagi's Butterfly stool can be described as unusual on a number of counts. The designer adopts a familiar Western shape and combines it with a technique employed by Charles and Ray Eames which involves using bent plywood for industrial manufacture. The stool is unusually cleverly constructed, with two identical shapes connected axisymmetrically by means of two screws underneath the seat and a screwed on brass rod. This creates a shape reminiscent in some ways of the torii (gates) to Shinto shrines, which gives the stool an oriental look. At the same time it calls to mind the wings of a butterfly, hence its name. The stool was awarded the gold medal at the 1957 Milan triennial.

Each Vitra miniature is true to the original in construction and materials, and reduced in size on a scale of 1:6. Each miniature is packaged in a wooden box, accompanied by an informational booklet. Production notes: Each of the delicate objects are made by hand; on average, each miniature requires five hours of careful manual work. Ongoing quality control ensures that every miniature corresponds to its larger original in terms of finishing, details and materials.

2.75" h | 3.1" w | 2.1" d

$320.00 + free shipping
(usually ships in 18-20 weeks)
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Sori Yanagi

Yanagi Sori combines Japanese and Western aesthetics with modern manufacturing techniques to create a harmonious image. Yanagi designed the Butterfly stool, whose delicate form recalls not only a butterfly but also a Japanese character.
Vitra is a Swiss company dedicated to improving the quality of space through the power of design. A central goal of Vitra is sustainable development. Trendy styling is avoided in favor of classic pieces that can be used for decades.

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