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Japanese Design

Japanese Design

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The Museum of Modern Art and 5 Continents Editions recently launched this series of books dedicated to industrial and graphic design. Each volume offers an overview of a single country's design achievements and illustrates its particular design history and aesthetic by showcasing renowned architects and designers through exemplary works drawn from The Museum of Modern Art's unmatched collection. This season, they take on Japan. Japanese designers' special ability to combine aesthetic tradition with contemporary visual culture and material innovation has created a distinctive and exceptionally successful design industry in Japan, which has produced such divergent icons of Modern design as Sori Yanagi's Butterfly Stool, the Sony Walkman, the Honey-Pop Armchair by Tokujin Yoshioka and the Toyota Prius. This volume traces the development of Japanese design from the country's craft revival in the early twentieth century to the extraordinary objects of high technology that have been a specialty of Japanese designers since the middle of the century. Antonelli's lively introduction provides an overview of Japan's design culture, while an essay and timeline by Penny Sparke illuminate the masterpieces of Modern Japanese design that are superbly reproduced in this volume's plate section.