Today I found myself exploring the life and works of one of the most famous product designers in Japan, Sori Yanagi. It was sad to hear when he passed away at the age of 96 late last year, but at the same time I couldn’t help but marvel in his achievements and stature. An incredible human being that played an important and fascinating role in Japanese modern design, helping to kickstart the economy after World War II.
Sori loved design and was active in his studio until he turned 90, designing and thinking on a daily basis. Today I thought I would concentrate on his kitchen and tableware which in my opinion doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves, compared to something like “The Butterfly Stool” for example which is now produced by Vitra.
Although he was an all around creative, in my opinion his kitchenware is particularly special and actually spans over several generations. Whether it be the porcelain or the kitchen utensils he’s always had a real eye for creating objects for everyday use, with Sori it was all about how the form and function worked together. He thought they should be spiritually bonded and he had quite the fascination with traditional Japanese craftsmanship, which I think shines through in his finished pieces.
Above for example we have a set of cutlery which is absolutely beautiful in it’s form and they look mighty pleasing to hold in the hand as well. Obviously I’m only offering up a small selection of his works that I thought were inspiring personally but there are plenty more pictures of his works on the web to peruse at your own will.
One article I will recommend before I leave you all in peace has been written by designer Jasper Morrison for Domus Magazine. It’s a great design report and really offers a perfect insight into Mr Yanagi’s work and life, way better than I can sum up. If you’re thinking of purchasing some bits, which are hard to find anyway at this moment in time, I would recommend our friends at Mjolk in Canada for a small but tidy selection.