Sori Yanagi 柳宗理
Since 1950, Japan
Sōri Yanagi (柳 宗理, 1915–2011) was a Japanese industrial designer renowned for his beautifully simple homewares and furniture. Sori Yanagi’s organic forms combine simplicity and practicality with elements of Japan’s native artisanal traditions. This successful synthesis made Yanagi one of the most significant Japanese designers of the post-war era.
Born in 1915 as a son of Soetsu Yanagi, who founded the “Mingei” movement which celebrated Japanese folk crafts and the beauty of everyday objects. Sori studied both art and architecture, and was influenced by Le Corbusier as well as by Charlotte Perriand when she worked in Japan in the early 1940s. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Japan (currently Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), he studied at Junzo Sakakura’s Architectural office. Having the background of both art and architecture in school, he pioneered Japanese postwar industrial design. In 1950, he founded Yanagi Design Institute,which created a prolific number of articles of daily use and furnishings.
The designer’s focus was always the unconscious beauty of everyday objects. His philosophy and passion towards design in his work have been appreciated around the world.
“Whether handcrafted or manufactured, a design is born from its connection to everyday life. And this is also the source of true beauty.”