TOKYO - Japanese industrial designer Sori Yanagi, whose kitchen and homeware stood at the vanguard of contemporary design for decades, has died of pneumonia, his office said Monday. He was 96.
Yanagi won worldwide acclaim for his "Butterfly Stool" exhibited at the XI Triennale of Milan in 1957 and subsequently went on to become a giant in the world of industrial design.
Yanagi originally studied oil painting but was heavily influenced by French architect Le Corbusier, and shifted his focus to designing furniture and everyday items, such as tableware and cooking utensils.
His style, which he applied to items ranging from light fittings and record players to the holder for the Olympic flame at the 1964 Tokyo Games, was a modern take on the traditional Japanese aesthetic of simplicity.