Mod Focus: Yanagi Bentwood Butterfly Stool

This week’s mod focus is on the Yanagi Butterfly Stool by Japanese industrial designer Sori Yanagi. This minimalist asian-inspired stool was first created in 1954. This specific stool design won the gold medal at the Milan Triennial in 1957.

In 1952, Sori Yanagi founded the Yanagi Industrial Design Institute. Only two years later, he designed the Yanagi Bentwood Butterfly Stool. Many of the mid-century modern designers during this era came from the United States and Scandinavian regions of the world, including Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Sori Yanagi was one of the few famous designers from Japan who created groundbreaking designs using modern materials such as bentwood.

The beautiful silhouette of the chair resembles the graceful wings of a butterfly.It is made from layered bent plywood. The solid brass hardware is exposed and visible to the eye. The brass hardware adds to the unique sculptural form of the stool while reinforcing its strength at the same time.

The Yanagi Bentwood Butterfly stool was a rare design when it was first created because it combined elements of Japanese-inspired style harmoniously with the minimalist modern techniques during this era.

You can purchase a high-quality reproduction of the Yanagi Bentwood Butterfly Stool in various finishes. It is a remarkable chair with roots in Japanese culture and in mid-century modern design.