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Vitra Miniature Butterfly stool: This creates a shape reminiscent in some ways of the torii (gates) to Shinto shrines, which gives the stool an oriental look. At the same time it calls to mind the wings of a butterfly, hence its name. Thestool was awarded the gold medal at the 1957 Milan triennial. Bent Plywood, Brass.
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Vitra Miniature Butterfly stool: As a student in the 1940s Sori Yanagi accompanied Charlotte Perriand on her trips through Japan, thus becoming familiar with the classical Moderns. It is possible that this is what aroused Yanagi's interest in seating, something which does not exist in Japanese culture. Even today a large number of Japanese households manage without any kind of seats, even in the cities, since it is traditional to sit on the floor on tatami mats. In view of the above Yanagi's Butterfly stool can be described as unusual on a number of counts. The designer adopts a familiar Western shape and combines it with a technique employed by Charles and Ray Eames which involves using bent plywood for industrial manufacture. The stool is unusually cleverly constructed, with two identical shapes connected axisymmetrically by means of two screws underneath the seat and a screwed on brass rod. This creates a shape reminiscent in some ways of the torii (gates) to Shinto shrines, which gives the stool an oriental look. At the same time it calls to mind the wings of a butterfly, hence its name. Thestool was awarded the gold medal at the 1957 Milan triennial. Bent Plywood, Brass.
The collection of the Vitra Design Museum en miniature: The Miniatures Collection of the Vitra Design Museum covers the most important pieces from the international history of design from 1850 up to the present. The construction, materials and colours of the miniatures correspond precisely to the historical original. Extensive development work was carried out to adapt the manufacturing techniques to the requirements of miniaturization. Because they are so true to the originals, the miniatures are not only collector’s objects for furniture enthusiasts, but also serve as ideal illustrative material for universities and design schools. At present, the collection encompasses 80 models on a 1:6 scale with further pieces being continually added. The models come in their own wooden box and are accompanied by a descriptive brochure with details on the design. Net proceeds from the sale of the miniatures go towards the exhibitions and workshops of Vitra Design Museum.
Miniaturization means concentration: Vitra Design Museum faithfully replicates furniture design classics in miniaturized three-dimensional form. Many of these designs, like the chaise longue by Le Corbusier or the red-blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld, are as widely known today as the most celebrated works of art and are coveted by museums and collectors the world over. These miniatures illustrate at a glance what design means and what role it plays in the industrial production process. The clear and concentrated world of the miniatures yields a fascinating reflection of the stylistic diversity of contemporary design and provides a unique way of accessing the history of furniture design.
The manufacture of the miniatures: Vitra Design Museum has one of the most renowned collections of industrial furniture design – from the infancy of industrial mass production in the mid-19th century through the designs of functionalistic Modernism up to the postmodern furniture objects of the present day. With its many exhibits, the collection provides us with an ideal base for developing new furniture miniatures. Model builders measure the historical original in the museum collection, scale this down to one sixth of the original size and compile technical documentation. Subsequently, materials and manufacturing techniques are tested over a period of several months: the shapes are formed, materials and processes are selected, art historical research on the objects is conducted and then the production sequences are defined.