The name Butterfly suggests the elegance created by the two molded laminate elements, each with subtle, undulating curves.
The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2011.64
Yanagi’s stool demonstrates the minimal look and usefulness of Good Design in North America and in Japan. It also recalls the ancient form of the classic Japanese headrest, combining modernity and tradition. According to design curator R. Craig Miller, Yanagi “paved the way for several generations of Japanese designers who have exerted an enormous influence on modern and contemporary design.”
The rich grain of the rosewood surface makes it appear to be a handmade piece, but in fact it is a mass-produced design of two identical pieces of molded plywood attached with a brass rod at the center. Awarded a gold medal at Milan’s Triennale in 1957, Yanagi’s stool has been continually in production since it was introduced, and is widely available today through design stores and various online retailers.