The Butterfly Stool, designed in 1954 by Japanese designer Sori Yanagi for Vitra, was inspired by the elegant profile of butterfly wings. As you may have heard, a symmetrical face is more beautiful than an asymmetrical face. This is what Sori Yanagi had done for the Butterfly Stool. The Stool is made of 2 pieces of identical rosewood plywood joined together by brass fittings. This symmetrical design probably invoked our subconscious appreciation of it’s beauty. The natural wood pattern sets each piece apart and create unique pieces.
Butterfly Stool by Sori Yanagi for Vitra in 1954
The creation of the Butterfly Stool was done during the period where plywood had became the new material for furnitures. Using the technique created by Charles & Ray Eames to shape plywood, Sori Yanagi incorporated his Japanese influences into the design of the Butterfly Stool. The curves of Butterfly Stool is reminiscence of Japanese Calligraphy brush strokes.
A stool is seldom seen as a luxury item in a house. The Butterfly Stool changed my view on this. It is small, functional and sculptural (sorry, its this word sculptural again!). Being sculptural means serving both its functional duties as well as having a secondary purpose of acting as a display piece when not in use. Place it in one corner when not in use and it will dazzle those who enter the house rather than being an eye sore. I was told by a sales person selling a replica Butterfly Stool that many of his clients bought it for use as an ottoman. Given the smallish size of the Butterfly Stool, I was thinking more of using it as a seat to put on my socks and shoes before leaving home. It can also serve as an accent piece in the Foyer to break the often monolithic feature wall or full height shoe cabinets found in apartment entrance foyers.
Accent Piece for the Entrance Foyer
The other reason that I would love to have the Butterfly Stool in the entrance foyer of my new home is that it complements the planned Eames LCW and the Hans Wegner Shell Chair perfectly. This creates an consistent design language for the home. I found some of the best pictures of the Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool in the blog here lisagouletdesign.blogspot.sg and had included some of them in this post. Enjoy!