Modern Japanese Design

Manchester Art Gallery.

The show provided a summary of the past fifty years of Japanese design through ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewellery, lighting and metalwork.

A piece of work that particularly interested me within the exhibition was Sori Yanagi’s butterfly stool, a carefully crafted piece of furniture made out of two identical pieces of curved wood, brought together at the axis with a brass rod.  I like how simplistic the stool looks, minimalistic in style perfectly describing Japanese design.

When designing the stool Yanagi was accompanying Charlotte Perriand a french designer, whilst she traveled Japan.  It is thought she influenced him with his seating furniture, which and the time didn’t commonly  exist in Japanese culture, as people where using tatami mats.

Yanagi managed to seamlessly combine the two cultures together with one piece of furniture.

The exhibition has inspired me to study Japanese design further, as it is minimalistic yet still stylish and diverse. I also enjoy how Yanagi has combined two very diverse and different cultures together, which is a concept that runs through my designs as well.

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