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Survey on the actual situation of Japanese design archives

what is going on?Design archives of these people


Sori Yanagi

Industrial designer


Report: Willow Industry Design Study Group 20 July 2016 (Wed)
Interview: Saya Yanagi Memorial Design Laboratory Tuesday, January 24, 2017



Sori Yanagi

Industrial designer
Born in Tokyo in 1915.
Graduated from Tokyo Art School in 1940 (now Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music).
1950 established Yanagi industrial design research institute.
1953 Established Yanagi industrial design study group.
Eiyuu 2011.

Yori Yanagi



In the year after the end of the war, I began design activities since 1946.After that, as consumer culture expanded rapidly, it severely criticized designers who are participating in the economic system of mass production, mass consumption society.And, instead of looking at "what is design" staring at one's mind, not pursuing the design of life that is close to the mind of people, not the design to sell.
In the 65 years until his death in 2011, he worked on designing a variety of products in a wide range of fields.Industrial products such as recorders and sewing machines, automobiles, soundproof walls of highways, wells of the Kanetsu Tunnel, pedestrian bridge, fire hydrant, Olympic flame stand, kiosk, scale for shops, kettle, kitchenware such as kettle and cutlery and teapot, Containers of oil paint, furniture, lighting, textiles, stationery, toys, covers of magazines, etc.Classic butterfly stool combining two molded plywoods is permanently preserved at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and the Louvre Museum.
On the other hand, "Design not intervening designers" was praised.The first one is the one with the beauty that is suitable for the purpose not having the name of the producer such as a jeans, a baseball ball, a Pickle etc, the other is the name of the folk art movement exhumed by my father Yu Muneyoshi It is a living tool created by the handicrafts of the people.I thought that there is a starting point of life there, there is a source of beauty, Yanagi himself also aimed to create what is created from the depths of the body, idealized as an anonymous design widely used without such names in front .
While doing design activities, from 1977 to 2006, he served as the director of the "Tokyo Municipal Hall" in Tokyo and Komaba, succeeded Muneyu's philosophy, and worked hard to convey the heritage left by the predecessors to the present age."Yanagi shop" selling Yanagi's products is located in Yotsuya, Tokyo.




Elephant Stool (1954) Butterfly Stool (1956)
White magnetic magazine (1956) Stacking vase (1979)
Black handle cutlery (1982) punching strainer (1999)

<Public facilities>

Osaka Kuzu is New Town Footbridge (1972)
Yokohama municipal subway drinking place and water drawing station, bench (1973)
Tomei highway road Tokyo toll gates soundproof wall (1980)


Nogeyama park guide map (1970)
Sapporo Winter Games Olympic Flame Tower (1972)
Nagoya municipal subway kiosk (1973)
"Folk art" cover design (1977)


Yanagi Sori Design (1998 · Kawaride Shobo Shinsha)
"Yasushi Yanagi essay" (2011 · Heibonsha)

Yoji Yanagi's work



Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory

Interview: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Interview location: Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory
Mr. Hitoshi Mori, Ms. Yuriko Minami
Interviewer: Yasuko Seki, Aiko Wakui
Writing: Yuko Wakui


Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory is an attached facility of Kanazawa College of Art and Design (hereinafter referred to as Kanazawa Univ.) Established in 2014.The location is part of the area where numerous cultural facilities gather, such as Izumi Kaga Memorial Hall, Kanazawa Gymnastic Gallery, Kanazawa Bunka Kan, and the first floor and the second floor of the building which was once the head office of a long-established Japanese confectionary shop "Mori Hachi" We are using.The laboratory has two exhibition spaces for permanent and exhibition exhibitions as well as a lecture room for holding hundreds of works owned by Kanazawa Odaiba, a storage cabinet, research library, open lecture, etc. ing.The permanent exhibition room has published about 200 pieces of Yanagi's work in the space assumed for living such as dining and kitchen, but these works do not have captions nor explanations at all .The reason is because it focuses on touching the work directly without giving prejudice and focusing on having Yanagi's designs felt through dialogue with objects.
Relations between Yanagi Sori and Kanazawa Miyajima began when Yanagi took office as a temporary professor at the university in 1956.After that, Yanagi who kept teaching for about 50 years had a great influence on many students.The institute was founded to convey such accomplishments.About the opening of the institute, in 2012 about 7000 design related materials were deposited from the Yanagi industrial design research association, which is a design office of Mr. Yori Sawako.Taking this as an opportunity, we are working on arranging and researching Yanagi's archive while conducting academic cooperation between them.
This time, as a second step of Mr. Yoshinori 's archive survey, we talked about the roles each of the two research institutes play and how to utilize the archives in school education.


History of the establishment of the research institute and exhibition contents


- Regarding Mr. Masayo Yanagi's design archive, I heard that this Yui Memorial Design Research Institute and Willow Industry Design Study Group are managed by two pillars.First of all, could you tell me the circumstances?


Mori Sori Yanagi-san, Kanazawa College of Art for about 50 years (or less, Kanazawa art school) had been taught at.There was such a boundary, and hopes that people who retired were wanting to make a memorial hall were received, but it was hard to realize.In such circumstances, about 7000 design related materials of Yoshinori Yanagi, owned by Yotsuya Industrial Design Study Group in Yotsuya, were deposited at Kanazawa Miyako, and it was decided to utilize this building acquired by Kanazawa City.
Originally, it was planned to be a museum, but unfortunately the building is old, it can not be used as a facility to visit by unspecified people, due to problems such as earthquake resistance, and it operates in the form of a research institute of Kanazawa Univ. I decided to do it.Therefore, it is open to the public in a form to have you see the work which is put in the classroom of the university.


- What kind of works are exhibited here?


There are two exhibition rooms on the first floor of the forest .The exhibition room 1 is a permanent exhibition room for Mr. Yoshinori's work and space to let him know the way of thinking about his design.Currently all the exhibits are deposited, and from the selection of works to assembly, layout, the Yanagi industrial design study group is doing.The exhibition room 2 is a space to be used at the exhibition and the event, we conduct exhibitions organized by our laboratory once a year and exhibitions to show the results of the students' education to the general public several times a year .For the remainder of the time, we are displaying image programs and panels to get to know the relationship between Sori Yanagi and Kanazawa Miyoshi.



Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory

Yanagi's work is permanently displayed in the space assumed for life Exhibition room 1.
I do not attach explanations so that I can face designs without prejudice.


Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory

Approximate yearly notes of willow in the back of exhibition room 1.


Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory

Exhibition room room where the exhibition will be held 2.



- Sori Yanagi's permanently displayed works are centered on products rather than historical archives.What kind of concrete materials are deposited?


Forest Basically it is a product, and a part is a prototype.Drawings were only a little, so I think that there is still more in the Yanagi industrial design study group.Apart from that, there are hundreds of pieces owned by Kanazawa Miyuji.


As for the design related materials that were soon deposited, it is kept in a private warehouse with air conditioning facilities.The works owned by Kanazawa Miyajima are managed by the cabinet on the second floor.Regarding the cabinet, we can not disclose it at all times, but I will show it to those who have made a reservation.



Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory


Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Laboratory

Works owned by Kanazawa Univ. Are kept in the safe on the second floor.



- How many people in the year can visit here?


It is about 20,000 forests .Because it is located in the Omi-machi market and Higashiyama in this tourist attraction, tourists passing by are often stopped by.On the other hand, foreign tourists think that there are many people who bother watching Yoshinori Yanagi's works.


How to utilize archives for school education


- Do you do activities in collaboration with universities, such as lessons using Sori Yanagi's archive?


Mori The next exhibition "1955 · Industrial Art · Starting - Design Education at Kanazawa College of Art -" held in March to May, I would like to collaborate as a guidance for new students in the design department .In 1955, when Kanazawa Miho got to be a four-year college from art college vocational school through a junior college, inviting as a lecturer of the newly established industrial art department was active in the front line at that time Designers, Mr. Yoshinori Yanagi and Mr. Ohmi Hiroshi.I am planning an exhibition to show how Japanese art education has been working on design in the beginning year as this beautiful girl.
Since it is an attached institution of the university, it is a major premise to cooperate with school education, so I would like to continue these efforts from now on.


- It is very important to be able to use the archive in a living form, right?For current students of Kanazawa Miyuzo, what is Sori Yanagi?


Forest From the current student, it is no longer a familiar existence already.When Sori Yanagi was a temporary professor, it was a form that intensively lectures two to three days a year.There is no recording of the lecture, but when inferring from the memorized memo etc., it seems that there were many talks about the attitude as a designer, not a plastic design method.I think that it became a big stimulation for those who go on the road of industrial design.However, since the time to contact students has decreased since a certain age, the difference in density will be big.


Southern graduates will be able to see this laboratory, but the story of the generation who received lectures directly from Sori Yanagi is hot and it takes a glimpse of the magnitude of its influence.It seems that there is a difference in the way that Sori Yanagi captures and its density when it becomes a current student or a graduate after a certain age.Therefore, I hope that it will be possible to bridge the generations through school education.In that sense, such as oral history is also important.


I heard that students from forest alumni are progressing in the order of generation by Yuzu Industrial Design Study Group.


Correction of yearly notes and inventories by steady surveys


- I think that various investigations will be necessary to hold Sori Yanagi's planned exhibition, but does that mean that it also leads to research activities at the same time?


Mori That's right.The deposit agreement with the Yanagi industrial design study group that I mentioned earlier is the content that we are going to do academic cooperation with the deposited data as the core.Working as one of them is the correction work of the year's score.For example, the year of graduation of Sori Yanagi's Tokyo Art School was supposed to be 1939, but in fact it was found to be 1940 years.Although the vocational school of the past was a five-year system, after the war I became a new university and changed to a four-year system, so I think that the person himself was misunderstood.
In addition, he went to the Philippines during the war, but although there are records that he returned to the year 1946 the year after the end of the war, it is written in most books until what month it was. It was.It was only recently when preparing for the exhibition, it turned out to be May.


- Were you going to the Philippines as a soldier?


Mori At that time, he was a researcher at the Sakakura quasi three architectural office and thinking that Itakura had designed the houses of the assembly type used by the Japanese locally, so I think that it went as an aid to its construction.The reason why the returning moon is important is that it influences how long the production period was until 1947 when the first white pottery series was announced.If returning home is May 1946, it means that there was about a year's time before the announcement.This was a huge harvest.In addition, I review the sentences he announced and supplement the data, making a catalog of works.
We have been conducting revision surveys of such basic data continuously since the establishment of the research institute, and we share this information with the Yanagi industrial design study group.


- That is also a valuable archive.Is not Sori Yanagi one of the most advanced designers?


Forest willow Industrial Design Research Association is to continue I think that it is large become a source of information.However, since over there is also design supervision and product development of Sori Yanagi, it is difficult to do research that unravels each article one by one.Therefore, I think whether such a thing should be accepted as our role.


Necessity of national design museum


- How do you think you should archive the design heritage of Masters such as Sori Yanagi?


Mori I think that it is impossible unless you can do the national design museum.Because there are more items than art objects, a huge volume is needed to keep them.I think that it is not a job that one local government can do.


- Yesterday, I was watching the Kanazawa Institute of Architecture Institute for Architecture, but again the material was huge, it seemed to be very hard to secure space and management method.


The Mori National Museum of Modern Architecture has only been three or four years yet, but it is already full.I think that the problem of volume is still great.Another is manpower.Since data processing is often done digitally, we do not take a place, but we need to read data before that.Moreover, since the paper is deteriorated in the old drawing, things with bad state can not be spread many times.Then, when you spread it for the first time, you must do everything at the same time, such as reading and care.In other words, depending on whether or not you can input a lot of human resources, what you can and can not do is divided.


- Musashino Art University conducts archive promotion project, but is it possible to create an archive mainly from the universities and vocational schools of the designers from now on?


Mori University also has limited space, so there is a limit to the storage space.Therefore, I think that it is difficult to gather all the designers' relationships with universities.


- Sori Yanagi's products are living goods which can not be withdrawn even after the times, but industrial design, which is constantly updated due to the evolution of technology, has a huge number of products as well.


Forest Originally, I think that manufacturers should archive properly.Several manufacturers, such as Panasonic and Sony are doing it, but the total investment is not enough.Toyota also has a big museum as a Japanese maker, but Ford has no mistake in Toyota's sales in terms of sales, it has an extraordinarily large museum.
As a curator, I have worked on exhibitions that gathered various products, but even if I asked the manufacturer, things will not be collected easily and sometimes I purchased it with the collector's market and supplemented it.As it is currently difficult to rely on manufacturers, I think that it is necessary for the national art museum to spend time and money again to collect things in order to show the design comprehensively.


- Thank you very much for your precious opinion.Regarding Sori Yanagi's archive, it seems that the two research institutes will cooperate mutually, so that it will be further enhanced in the future.If there is progress, please tell us a story.


Contact address

Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Research Institute



Willow Industry Design Study Group

Interview: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 13: 00-14: 30
Interview location: Yanagi industrial design study group
Interviewee: Willow Industry Design Study Group
Interviewer: Seki Yasuko, Urakawa Aya
Lighting: Ai Rika Urakawa

I started design activities as foundation foundation

Yanagi began design activities when it was 31 years old in 1946.Four years later, in 1950, Yanagi Industrial Design Institute opened.Considering the enlightenment and dissemination of design, becoming a foundation corporation in 1953, established the name again as Willow Industry Design Study Group.After Yanagi died, in 2013 it moved to the general foundation foundation.
Currently, the general foundation corporation Yuyuan Industrial Design Study Group supervises the design handled by Yanagi and develops new products and organizes and investigates the design archive.I asked the researchers about Mr. Yoshinori's design archive which the research group thinks.


What Yu had as ideal

It was said that there was never a story from Yanagi about the concrete thing about how to design his own design archive.However, it is said that they said that they wanted "to use it by various people" and "I want to keep it in one place as much as possible" rather than keeping the products and materials in mind.
In addition, Yanagi said that he wanted to create a "modern crafts museum" close to the "Japanese museum" before his life.I thought that I wanted to include not only my own products but also the modern wonderful living tools of domestic and overseas.
The Japanese museum is a museum opened in Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo in 1936, as a place for Muneyuki, the father of Yanagi (Munori), "a place to show criteria for crafts that will serve to create new life crafts". is there.Sōyō is known as a person who raised folk art movements with ceramic artist Kojiro Kawai and Shoji Hamada in the Taisho era.The folk art movement is an exercise pursuing what something is true warrant, warning the cultures of handicrafts in various parts of Japan, as mass-produced goods have penetrated their lives as industrialization progresses .
Sōyu found beauty in the living tools made by the people, traveled around the world throughout his lifetime, collected them.About 17 thousand objects such as ceramics, lacquerware, textiles and paintings in Japan and abroad from the Jomon period to the early Showa period are included in the Japanese Folk Art Museum, including those items.
When Young was young, he felt old collecting of Muneyu old and became obsessed with avant-garde art, After learning Bauhaus and Le Corbusier at school days, he headed for the design of machine products.It was Charlotte Perrian, a collaborator of Le Corbusier who changed the idea of Yanagi that had been drawing a line with folk art.When Pelian was invited to Japan as a craft instruction instructor in 1940, Yanagi was supposed to play support for her visit to Japan and the exhibition.During the visit to Japan, it was that of the Japanese museum, where she gained a strong interest, so she was aware of the splendor of folk art.
Yanagi wanted to create a modern arts and crafts museum near the Nippon Musuemon in order to arrange good items of folk arts and machine products, to clearly indicate the connection, and to take over what we received from them to the future Because I thought that.Unfortunately, the modern arts and crafts gallery has not been realized yet.


Complete academic cooperation with Kanazawa College of Art

At the Willow Industry Design Study Group, since around 1990 when Yanagi celebrated the mid-70s, researchers who voluntarily thought about leaving design products and other products that he had done to the next generation will voluntarily publish photographic materials, models, prototypes I started organizing little by little.It is from 2012 that Yanagi died after the arrangement and investigation of the design archive was started in earnest.
About 50 years from 1955, Yanagi taught teaching from the edge that he was taught in 2012, with Kanazawa College of Art and Design in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, with cooperation with academic cooperation, about 7000 design related materials including products .In 2014, "Kanazawa College of Art Design Yanagi Memorial Design Research Institute" was established as a facility attached facility.
Approximately 200 points of products such as elephant stool, Fengziro tea table and Dishi kiln dishes are displayed in the facility, where you can feel the design of Yanagi by actually touching things in the space assuming life It has become.The absence of caption and explanatory text for each product means that we do not have any extra knowledge or preconceptions for visitors, and that we value the beauty "obediently facing things, feeling obediently with their own eyes" He says that he wanted.
At the same laboratory, in addition to investigative research on the design of the Yanagi living period, we also provide planned exhibitions and open lectures to publish the results, related books and information of Yanagi.Approximately 7000 design related materials deposited with the deposit are kept in the warehouse in Kanazawa City, not in this laboratory.
In the warehouse there are furniture, dishes, cutlery and other products, graphic designs such as covers of magazine 'folk art' and posters of exhibitions, industrial products, public furniture such as benches, models, prototypes, product drawings etc. Has been done.Currently, research and researches are being carried out by researchers, together with collections in the warehouse and articles in the Willow Industry Design Study Group, including publications, manuscripts, hand-painted notes, letters, and newspaper series articles It is.


A space that left the atmosphere of those days

Several researchers are currently employed at Willow Industry Design Study Group.In addition to what Yanagi designed, furniture placed in that space also has chairs from other designers Yanagi selected.Working desks and chairs, including electric powered gears used to make models.There is also a simple sink and gas stove.As I often developed kitchen equipment, I cooked alternately using prototype pots etc. at lunch, exchanged opinion and thought while eating with everyone and it seems to have repeatedly studied.
On the wooden shelves are collections of books collected by Yanagi at home and abroad, as well as folk items and antiques.I thought that displaying was also one of the designs, and every time new items increased, every time I devised a way of arrangement.The state of the shelf and the production site has been introduced frequently in magazines and books.Currently, researchers are consciously striving to leave the shelves displayed by Yanagi and the atmosphere of the design activities at that time, as much as possible.
Part of product drawings and photographs are also stored in this workshop.In the photo, both paper burning and film are left, mold molded or discolored, but now it is managed in a dry cabinet.Product photographs were photographed by a photographer dedicated to the office under the supervision of Yanagi.Yanagi likes cameras, especially a lot of pictures taken on a journey are left.
What we are currently discussing within the study group is whether we should preserve the space itself embodying the idea of a new design by placing this good one close to it, In the presence of risk, it can also be called a design resource, whether what Yanagi gathered should be kept in a warehouse as an archive.


Problems and things that have become an issue

What are the problems and challenges now in arranging and investigating Yanagi's design archive?One thing is that we have not kept the archive so far, so there is little information about the content of the document and it takes time and effort to find the facts.
For example, there are many photographs that the photographer does not specify and that the owner of the copyright is unknown.Yanagi's products also have long-sellers of over 50 years.Some materials are changed on the way, Manufacturers under contract are changed, others are forced to change some form due to manufacturing problems.However, since there is almost no material to support that change, it is difficult to distinguish whether the custody that is currently left is the final product or whether it is the examination stage under trial production.
In addition, in the survey, we also conducted an oral history to former employees who had been making products with Yanagi and then former employees who were enrolled at the time, in addition to knowledge as an archivist, design Professional knowledge is also needed.Therefore, when researching and archiving such archives, it is ideal that persons with various knowledge and ability collaborate with teams with multiple names.


Opinion about the design museum

In doing research on Yanagi's archive, he seems to hear a variety of opinions on the design museum. "Should not it be interesting just to display the design archive merely?" "Should the museum do the exhibition that the design process is conveyed, including the background and thought that the object was created?" " How can we properly communicate design activities on display?Is not it important to discuss that first? "
Also, there is an opinion that publishing all the archives including the design process is "good for designers" or "not profane against designers".It is because designers themselves may not recognize themselves as finished products or, in fact, designers may deserve to be thrown away.
Furthermore, as a general theory, "Is not it important to archive now?" "Save the current archive as digital data, and it may be better to pick it up again when the copyright expires There is also an idea in the archive.


We will link our activities to the future

Design is something that is inseparable from social activities, has strong ties.Yanagi also acted as a foundation company considering spreading the design widely, talking about the design archive also "I want various people to utilize it" before life.
Even at the research meeting, we believe that it is important not only to keep the archives of Yanagi as it is, but also to make it available to as many people as possible, to use it for society and lead to the future ahead.The goal is to create a museum that displays Yanagi's archives.
Then, at the study group, I am thinking that I would like to transfer to the young generation and students from now on the contents of research and research activities of the current archives and Yanagi's design method and idea, and to inherit it to the next generation.About that, it is the stage which we are currently considering.


Contact address

Willow Industry Design Study Group


what is going on?
Design archives of these people

There is also the possibility of changing subjects of survey.

The subjects (individuals) to be surveyed have been selected, including those who have already died, referring to the 2006 Asahi Shimbun publication "The Great Masters who have designed Nippon".

* Is a person who has died.




Let's talk about Shiro Kuramata

Symposium held

Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991) is a legendary designer who was active in the 1960s and 1980s.
His character and his work continue to fascinate people all over the world.
Thirty years before his death, he held a symposium to connect the design of Kuramata to the younger generation from the past to the present and the future as "Introduction to Shiro Kuramata".


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